Re: “Skepticism About the Third Circuit’s Rejection of Organizational Free Exercise Claims,” Will Baude, Volokh Conspiracy.
Am I correct in thinking that a for-profit sole proprietorship has religious freedom? In that case, surely a partnership does. And why not a corporation, particularly if it is 100% owned by one individual? Or is it that in each case, it is the individual as owner who must assert his rights?
The real question seems to me to be the fact question of whether the religious practice is in the interest of the stockholders. This means whether they would support it if they could, or whether it is an unjustified perk of the Board or executives. That is the same hard question that comes up with whether a corporation’s charitable donations or homosexuality policies are OK. Thus, the corporation should be allowed to have a religious practices policy, protected by the usual religious freedom rights, but subject to derivative suits by shareholders in the usual way (which means most suits lose).
I am puzzled by how we should think about measuring the value of output in health care, or any market, when the prices are not at the competitive level.
What if the government has a maximum price of $500 for an angiogram, but the free market price would be $900?
In a free market, we measure GDP using output and market prices. Read more…
Romesh Ponnuru sums it up succinctly:
In the primaries, Obama distinguished himself from Clinton on health care by opposing an individual mandate. In the general election, he distinguished himself from McCain by opposing taxes on health benefits. So now he is trying to pass bills with both an individual mandate and taxes on health benefits — and his supporters are saying that Congress should go along because he won the election.
I found a Washington Examiner article that says the government’s estimate of medicare fraud is an astounding 12% of payouts. If true, that pretty much kills the administrative costs argument (unless private insurance companies have a 12% rate too). See
An Philip Klein American Spectator article is relevant to thinking about health care policy.
Coburn based his figures on an estimate from health care fraud expert Malcolm Sparrow of Harvard University, who has said — at the low end — 10 percent of the roughly $1 trillion in spending on government health care programs may be lost to fraud.
“By taking the fraud and abuse problem seriously this administration might be able to save 10 percent or even 20 percent from Medicare and Medicaid budgets,” Sparrow said in May testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But to accomplish this, Sparrow explained, the government would have to boost anti-fraud spending to as high as 2 percent of the cost of the programs from the roughly 0.1 percent now dedicated to the task.
“Medicare’s Hidden Administrative Costs:
A Comparison of Medicare and the Private Sector”
(Based in Part on a Technical Paper by Mark Litow of Milliman, Inc.)
January 10, 2006. I read the intro, which makes a lot of sense. It notes that Medicare costs exclude management, research, the cost of collecting government funds (much less the distortionary costs of taxation), and the administrative costs to employers of collecting premiums from employees. Also, costs of buildings and much fraud pursuit is not included in the usual administrative costs of Medicare. And Medicare does not have to pay the 1-2% state taxes on premiums that private insurance companies must pay. Medicare’s costs are also lower because Medicare does not scrutinize claims as private companies do— the report claims that Medicare does not try to pursue fraud unless it is massive, which is plausible.