Monday, October 3, 2011

Healthcare costs stable but premiums rise + Occupy Wall Street

Events have made blog writing difficult for me in recent weeks, but I hope to be back blogging now on a more regular basis.

Merrill Goozner in his e-newsletter Gooz News (he also write for The Fiscal Times) points out the following:

"The private insurance industry is covering fewer people and facing just a 4 percent increase in costs. Yet  it is raising premiums 9 percent. No wonder profits are rising smartly."

As usual, the knee-jerk right is blaming Obama and healthcare reform for this 9% increase without any apparent reason except the need to attack Obama for everything.

Also, apparently, the "Occupy Wall Street" movement in NYC is spreading to other cities. There's one here called "Occupy Boston." I'm sure that many of the people in this nascent movement are very well-informed and articulate about the issues and solutions involved in making Wall Street pay for the disaster it inflicted on us; nevertheless the press has largely riduculed the group as a whole as offering little  in the way of facts or concrete suggestions. Even if this were the case initially, it no longer is, since other groups, including labor unions have begun joining up. Let's hope that as more people join up with the miovement the reporters will take more effort to read the petitions and manifestos being distributed.

One thing that the movement should start pushing for is a "Financial Transactions" or "Tobin tax"  -- which even the conservative French premier Nicholas Sarkozy joins the AFL-CIO in supporting: click here. I have discussed this in at least one previous blog : The Parasite Tax. This might be a nice rallying point, and could turn out to be as popular with large cross-sections of Americans as the millionaires' tax.

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