Meet the New Senator, Same As the Old Senator

NH Insider has a great post responding to a SeacoastOnline letter bemoaning the "pitifully few health insurance companies to choose from". Which, the letter-writer deduced, indicated the sore need of a government run "public option".

The Insider noted:

New Hampshire used to have a thriving and diverse insurance industry until then State Senator Jeanne Shaheen introduced SB 711 and got it passed and signed into law.
SB 711 was passed in 1994 and went into effect in 1995. More information on the whole sad story is available from this article from the Heartland Institute, a free market think tank. A key conclusion:
While health insurance coverage was little affected by Shaheen's reforms, consumer choice was badly damaged. By 1997, the number of commercial health insurers serving New Hampshire dwindled to five from a previous high of 12. Those remaining in the market reduced their insurance offerings to cover only high-deductible, catastrophic-type health insurance plans.
Now, to be fair: back in 1994, the New Hampshire legislature was controlled by the Republicans, and the legislation would have had to been signed by Governor Steve Merrill, also a Republican. So while Jeanne bears some responsibility for the current poor state of the health care insurance market in the Granite State, it's not her sole responsibility.

And, as the Insider notes, she's now in the US Senate, and eager to "reform" the health insurance industry nationwide. Some politicians learn from their mistakes; Jeanne sees the opportunity to make them again, and bigger.

(Via GraniteGrok's recent collection of NH rabid right-wing ideologue links, Pun Salad included there, thanks, Skip!)

URLs du Jour


Some quick hits that have piled up over the past couple weeks:

  • The Climategate scandal has ratcheted up my skepticism of anthropogenic global warming up a couple notches, and it was already pretty high. Claudia Rosett notes that, whatever your opinion of the science propounded by the True Believers, their economics is much, much worse: the UN Climatistas have boundless (and totally unwarranted) hubris as to their ability to predict and control the entire world's economy for decades. Who does that remind you of? Me too, and Claudia agrees:

    For UN planners to presume that they can reliably calculate the economic future around the planet and across decades is absurd. To pretend to calculate the economic future in neat correlation with potential variations in climate is ridiculous. For UN planners, and politicians jetting into Copenhagen to further pretend they can better organize our lives based on this confetti of calculations is beyond inane. This is the global version of the old Soviet planners sitting down to command the economy of the USSR -- and enforcing it would similarly require repression and coercion. Welcome to a world where you wait in line for toilet paper. Unless, of course, you are one of the climate-klatura, entitled to your caviar, limo and private jet, high above the queuing proles.

    Just as "health care reform" isn't really about health care, the "climate change" hoopla isn't really about the climate: both are about massive new government control over its subjects.

  • Senator Coburn (R-Oklahoma) has issued a new report (press release here) on various projects funded by the "stimulus" are doing, wastewise. New Hampshire doesn't make the top 10, but the full report contains the story of the four new buses (costing $2 million) purchased for our local (ostensibly private) bus companies. Pun Salad discussed this back in July.

    Anyway, if you need your blood pressure raised a few mm Hg, Coburn's report could well do the trick.

  • Back when I was a young 'un, George Gamow introduced me to the mind-bending concept of infinity, using (among other things) the notion that (given an infinite amount of time) a monkey randomly pecking at a keyboard will produce any given text, for example the complete works of Shakespeare.

    Leave it to the British to put the concept to the test.

    What was learnt: The theory is flawed. After one month - admittedly not an "infinite" amount of time - the monkeys had partially destroyed the machine, used it as a lavatory, and mostly typed the letter "s".


    Wikipedia has that and more: don't miss, which applies the concept to computer graphics; this Reuben Bolling comic; and, for geeks, there's RFC 2795, the Infinite Monkey Protocol Suite (IMPS).

  • Dan Tuohy debunks the myth that the University Near Here doesn't prepare you for fame and fortune. Well, fame anyway. (Usually, our Alumni Association loves to publicize our famous alumni; I think they'll forego that in this case.)

  • I really liked this (out of context) quote from one of the reviews of "Samuel Adams Pub and Café" at Manchester Boston Regional Airport.

    I live a life of mystery and intrigue, where every second I have to be alert to pending disaster, but I still manage to spell basic English words correctly.

    Hey, me too!

Last Modified 2012-10-05 8:33 AM EST