THE BUMBLING COLOSSUS  By Henry F. Field                                              
The Regulatory State vs. the Citizen; How Good Intentions Fail and the Example of Health Care;
                                  A New Progressive's Guide    
  (available at amazon.com)
Internet Center for Continuing Learning on The Bumbling Colossus 

website: www.thebumblingcolossus.com

  This is where you come to further explore the subjects raised in The Bumbling Colossus, with capsule summaries of recent insightful work 

INTRODUCTION

What's in the book:

How to deliver universal, accessible, and truly affordable health care to all Americans? "The Bumbling Colossus" sets out in clear fashion why Obamacare should be replaced and what to replace it with. The book's Appendix A lists all the key elements of new legislation needed. Chapters IV and V set out in a few pages the principles to follow and the outline of these key elements. See also "How to Replace Obamacare" alongside.

The program laid out is neither Democrat nor Republican but bridges and unifies otherwise polarized views. It takes seriously widely-held objectives and goals -- better living conditions and opportunities for the poor and disadvantaged -- and makes them achievable in real life. How? By grounding them in solid economics as refined and built upon by generations of the world's best economic thinkers. All explained in simple, readable form.
 

"The Bumbling Colossus" predicted that increasing mandates expanding eligibility and coverages will lead to super-inflationary cost increases, and harmful cuts in service, leaving more people harmed than benefited. This has happened. Quite the opposite of what our politicians and the voting public intended. No natural means for cost-control exists. Although trending for decades, Obamacare makes this far worse.

Single-payer is not the answer. Careful studies reveal their deep flaws and caution us to avoid their false allures. Empower families and individuals, not government. Government needs to stop running everything and shift to financing the needy while encouraging personal responsibility and letting the private market do the rest.
 

The slogan should be -- "Where needed, fund it, but don't run it."

The top-down Obamacare approach based on empowering bureaucrats needs to be discarded and replaced with a system based upon individual and family Health Savings Accounts. By law, these accounts must be linked to high-deductible insurance covering all significant or "catastrophic" health events. Routine costs below the deductible are paid from the funds 
which accumulate tax-free in the accounts. All funds contributed to an HSA are deductible. For the poor, their HSAs receive federal vouchers or credits. This way, everyone has insurance covering all significant health events, and the resources to pay for everything else.

These HSAs can be established for everyone, like social security is for everyone who works. That way, true universal coverage occurs. Everyone in America has health insurance and the means to pay for all health costs. Where Obamacare leaves some thirty million people short, under this HSA program no one is left short. Where Obamacare creates myriad bureaucracies restricting your choices and telling you what you must do, here we have none. Where Obamacare puts more people on bureaucracy-controlled relief, this takes them off. Independence replaces dependency.

Top-notch economists and scholars, in a 2015 AEI report, also place HSAs at the center of any new reform:

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). HSAs should be a central component of health care in the United States. The accounts provide strong incentives for their owners to seek the best value for their health care purchases, and they provide a ready vehicle for providing additional protection against high medical expenses. Existing rules should be modified to allow all Americans to make annual contributions to an HSA, and a new, one-time federal tax credit would provide a strong incentive for those without accounts to establish them. HSAs should also be fully integrated into the Medicare and Medicaid programs.


Costs? Where Obamacare promotes a cost explosion, 
the HSA approach creates a natural means for reducing and containing costs. Arming everyone with the means, they have choice. This creates competition. Competition among hospitals, doctors, medical providers of all sorts. Competition for the newly-empowered health care consumer's attention. Wherever across all industries and services competition exists, costs decline. At the same time, quality improves. Look at the iPhone. Look at our air carriers. Look at package and mail delivery. Remember the 78 cent/minute long distance call?

This approach solves the dilemma of top-down government programs, where you can't escape the harmful inevitable trade-off of lower costs lowering quality. Obamacare, making worse the existing system, traps us in this dilemma. A system founded on universal HSAs avoids it and puts us on a far better road.

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Parts B and C of "The Bumbling Colossus" explain the "whys" -- why the HSA approach fits best the economics and history of American life. This a "short course" in political economy, setting out the economic fundamentals in simple language, taking the reader from Adam Smith to Keynes to Hayek to Friedman to Coase, Becker, Stigler, Sowell, Arrow, Demsetz, Tyler Cowen and others. From the Great Depression to the financial crisis of 2008, and government responses from the New Deal to the Obama Administration's signature acts -- the stimulus, the Dodd-Frank Act, and Obamacare. This is an interesting and fun ride. Without this understanding, we are at sea when trying to understand (and vote for) relevant popular ideas and proposals which seek to improve things but instead push us ever further back into failed solutions of the past.
 

At the end, the reader will have a new perspective on public affairs and a firm grasp of the direction a new health care system should take. Also why Dodd-Frank misfired and should be discarded and replaced. You will be vastly better educated on the findings and analysis of our best (mostly Nobel-prize winning) economic thinkers. You will be able to reconcile your high public ideals and purposes with the solid grounding in economic reality which makes those objectives actually achievable.

You will realize that what everyone hears and thinks they know often just reflects an echo chamber of intellectual and policy dead ends.

As the book makes clear, there is common ground to reach the best way ahead, but it can not be reached on the false certitudes of today's polarized media and politics.


Available at amazon.com



Who Is Henry F. Field?

He graduated from Harvard (BA) and the University of Chicago (JD), and is deeply familiar with the work of our leading economic thinkers, beginning with studies under Aaron Director, the "father" of law and economics. Through personal acquaintance with many Nobel-winning economists and their writings, he is well positioned to explain the economics of regulation, which forms the backbone of the book. Part A analyzes the health care issue while Parts B and C set out basic general concepts in the economics of regulation in language readily understood by the average reader of the N.Y. Times, although also of interest to professionals in economics, law, finance and similar fields.

He lives with his lovely wife and american eskimo pup near Boston.

Read selected portions and buy the book at amazon.com,

And follow this continuing education website -- which draws stories and material from professional journals, newspapers, books and similar sources highlighting and further explaining the concepts set out in the book  -- here at www.thebumblingcolossus.com


 
 
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