Sunday, December 29, 2013
  Constants and Variables 7

If Romneycare premiums are a "tax", as the Supremes claim, then those premiums should be uniform by state. Standardization is pretty much the main point of rolling a system into the federal government. And it's required by the old Constitution, not that any "judge" has ever read the old Constitution.

"..all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

Well, is Romneycare a uniform Excise? Not hardly. An easy-to-read map from Health Research Institute shows the high points and low points. The data is for certain counties or cities, not for the whole state. Still the same problem. Non-uniform by city is still non-uniform.

Constants and variables.

These points stand out:

AK and HI are at opposite ends of the premium scale. Both states have extremely high prices and wages, essentially a different value of the dollar because of shipping costs. If we're going to ignore the old Constitution and allow differences based on dollar value, BOTH should be up at the top.

WY is far above all its neighbors, despite having the same demography as its neighbors.

MS is far above all its neighbors, despite etc.

IN is far above etc.

My first thought was "Aha! Malpractice! Mississippi is notoriously litigious!" Nope, doesn't work. This hard-to-read graph (an outstanding example of overgraphication) destroys that hypothesis. Look down to the Per-capita payouts section. MS, despite reputation, is near the bottom in malpractice payouts. IN is also near the bottom and WY is in the middle.

So we have a tax that fails every possible test. It fails the old Constitution's requirement of uniformity. Ignoring that, it fails to adjust for cost of living. Ignoring that, it fails to adjust for legal costs. Ignoring that, it fails the ideal of progressivity. MS, the poorest state, has some of the highest Romneycare taxes.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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