Grassroot Perspective – July 17, 2003-MSAs the Answer to 'Accident of History'; Consumer Driven Plans Last Chance to Prevent National Health Insurance; Ten Common Myths About Taxes, Spending and Budget Deficits

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“Dick Rowland Image”

”Shoots (News, Views and Quotes)”


– MSAs the Answer to ‘Accident of History’

Whatever they do on the Hill, the market continues to move in the direction of empowering consumers. The “Florida Times-Union” ran an editorial noting that
employer involvement in health insurance is “an accident
of history.” Consumers now pay, it says, only one dollar
for every five dollars of the costs — “If people paid
only one-fifth of the cost of steak at the supermarket,
few would eat hamburger.” But ultimately people are
paying the other four dollars as well, it is just “spread
throughout the economy. and reflected in lower wages
and higher prices everywhere.” The article predicts
that rising costs will “spark new interest in medical
savings accounts.”

– Consumer Driven Plans Last Chance to Prevent National Health Insurance

Bill Brewer reports in the “Knoxville News-Sentinel”
that insurers are “turning to consumers to rein in
costs in what some observers say is a last chance at
keeping health insurance out of the federal government’s
hands.” The article is a report on a recent health
care forum held in Knoxville. The chief medical officer
of the Tennessee Blues, Dr. Steven Coulter, thinks
physicians, insurers, employers and employees have
to “work together to control costs.” He cites his son
as an example of an uninformed consumer who “believes
a visit to the doctor costs $10. He doesn’t see medical
care as expensive and he doesn’t make judicious choices.”
An actuary with Milliman USA, Doug Proebsting, reports
that “62 percent of U.S. employers surveyed by Milliman
said they plan to move toward consumerism this year
or next..” The article also notes that spending on
health care is up by 675 percent in Tennessee over
the last twenty years, compared to 450 percent nationally.
SOURCE: This is another one
of those pubs that charges to retrieve archives. The
original article ran in the business section on June
15, 2003.

Above articles are quoted from The Galen Institute’s Consumer Choice
Matters, #21

”Roots (Food for Thought)”

– Ten Common Myths About Taxes, Spending and Budget Deficits

By Brian M. Riedl

Executive Summary #1660

Myths, misconceptions, and errors increasingly are confusing the public
debate on taxes, spending, and budget deficits.

Economic misinformation begins with politicians, who are usually more
concerned with winning the next election than with seeking “economic
truth.” And winning generally requires presenting their own views
favorably and their opponents’ views unfavorably.

However, precise economic theories and ambiguous data results rarely
produce the sound bites needed for a 30-second political hit piece.
Consequently, politicians routinely oversimplify complex principles,
manipulate data to serve their own ends, and reverse their positions as
guided by polling data. It is the public’s duty to hold politicians
accountable for the policies they enact based on failed economics.

When political leaders communicate to their constituents, the media
transmit and often analyze those messages. How Americans view the world,
their government, and the economy is therefore largely influenced by
what the media tell them.

Yet media reports often contain economic misinformation. Reporters do
not purposely mislead their readers and viewers: They have a nearly
impossible job. Journalists with little or no academic training in
economics are asked to define, explain, and often settle debates in an
increasingly complex academic field where debates often come down to
dueling statistical models.

Added to the mix are politicians who recklessly twist the field’s
principles and data to suit their political agendas. Is it, therefore,
any wonder that economic mythology has become widespread?

This paper refutes 10 common misconceptions about taxes, spending, and
budget deficits that are spread by politicians and reporters.


Brian M. Riedl is
Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the Thomas A.
Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Above article is quoted from The Heritage Foundation, Research

”Evergreen (Today’s Quote)”

“The foundation of national morality must be laid in the private
families.” — John Adams

”’Edited by Richard O. Rowland, president of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. He can be reached at (808) 487-4959 or by email at:”’ ”’For more information, see its Web site at:”’