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Cheap David Brooks Games

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Tuesday, 02 November 2010 04:08

David Brooks, who made himself famous by turning the financial crisis into a "fiscal crisis," is back at game playing today. He outlines some of the main features of the Republicans' agenda assuming they get control of the House.

One of the items listed is the repeal of a provision in the health care reform bill that would require a business to file a 1099 every time they bought more than $600 of goods and services from an individual or business. While the Republicans will likely make this change, what Brooks doesn't tell readers is that Democrats would also. This was a provision that shoved into the lengthy bill that its proponents recognized as excessive almost immediately after it was passed. It would have already been repealed had the Republicans not blocked action in order to give themselves an election issue.

The other misleading item featured on Brooks' rather limited agenda for the Republicans is that they will take steps to make health care costs predictable for business. Brooks is revealing either his ignorance or his dishonesty with this one. He obviously is implying that the health care plan makes cost unpredictable for business. In fact, health care costs are already unpredictable for business.

Except in states where regulation prevents it, insurers can change what they charge businesses for health care as much as they feel like. While businesses can change insurers, this is time-consuming and the prices are very unpredictable (there are no price lists -- firms must go through an underwriting process). The Republicans have no plan that will make health care costs predictable for business. In fact, if they eliminate the insurance regulation in the health care reform bill then they will almost certainly be making costs less predictable.

Comments (3)Add Comment
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written by Ron Alley, November 02, 2010 7:06
I read the piece this morning and my reaction was similar in many respects.

I was surprised that the 1099 requirement existed and disappointed that it was part of the healthcare reform bill. I thought, what a waste of a leadership opportunity for President Obama and the Democrats.

The Obama administration's failure to provide leadership has surprised and disappointed me, and I believe most Americans, in equal measures.

The inability of Reid and Pelosi to put forth, and bring to the floor, a series of one line bills deleting this provision and correcting other errors in the health care reform bill really is disheartening. I truly believe that the procedural morass in both the House and Senate reflects the determination of the members to ensure that the minority party retains a legislative veto.

Ban Risk Now
written by izzatzo, November 02, 2010 8:31
The inability to predict risk is bringing down America. Capitalists must be able to avoid all risks by predicting them, otherwise they will not produce output for fear of the unknown.

Once entrepreneurs are forced to face a measure of central tendency, a standard deviation around a mean , median or mode, it's all over with a socialist takeover of predictability.

Already, the unemployed have converted to the socialism of predictability by virtue of predicting their own certainty of no jobs. Once this certainty spreads to those who provide jobs and those who still have them, the end is near.

Ban all risks now so capitalists can be certain of the outcome and produce more trickle.
...
written by Hammermill, November 04, 2010 2:27
After reading about your new essays,?really learn a lot about and looking forward to your essy.

Hammermill

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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