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Showing posts from July, 2019

Alternative Energy Costs Are Dropping Dramatically, Effectively Competing With Conventional Sources

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Alternative Energy Costs Are Dropping Dramatically, Effectively Competing With Conventional Sources

New installations of wind and solar power generating units can effectively compete with new conventional sources and even with  some existing conventional generating plants. 

Lazard, a financial advisory and asset management firms, in its levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE [1]) report published in 2018 (LCOE 12.0), says "The low endlevelized cost of onshore wind-generated energy is $29/MWh, compared to an average illustrative marginal cost of $36/MWh for coal. The levelized cost of utility-scale solar is nearly identical to the illustrative marginal cost of coal, at $36/MWh." Levelized Cost of Energy and Levelized Cost of Storage 2018

The drop in costs have been the most dramatic in recent years for solar.

In its previous LCOE 11.0 report, it concluded:

"As LCOE values for alternative energy technologies continue to decline, in some scenarios the fulllifecycle costs of building an…

Lifting the Ban on Medicare Part D Negotiating with Drug Companies to Set Prescription Drug Prices. Political Talking Point or Attack on Market Forces?

Lifting the Ban on Medicare Part D Negotiating with Drug Companies to Set Prescription Drug Prices. Political Talking Point or Attack on Market Forces?
Many of the Democrats running for President promote the idea of authorizing Medicare Part D to negotiate directly with drug companies to set prescription drug prices. H.R.2000 - Medicare-X Choice Act of 2019, (known as the “Medicare for all that want it”, introduced on April 1, 2019 and co-sponsored by Representative Craig contains a clause deleting the current ban.
“The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), which established Medicare Part D, included a ban on such negotiation. In theory, if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, the agency could leverage its purchasing power to pay less for drugs. The idea has received considerable media attention over the past few months and has broad public support, reflected in a recent poll showing 87 percent of Americans have a favora…

Is Health Care a Human Right?

Is Health Care a Human Right?
Democrats are using the slogan “health care is a human right” to try to gain populist support for their various health care proposals. I disagree.
First, however, I fully agree that when someone is hurt or sick, as compassionate people, we need to provide some health care to anyone, regardless of whether they have health insurance or financial condition. Emergency rooms are required to provide that. [1]
And, I acknowledge that health care is neither equally accessible nor equally affordable.
But, a “human right” implies that someone is entitled to that right regardless of their own responsibility for their condition. As mentioned in my blog post The Way Forward With Health Care, many people simply do not take care of themselves, which cause health problems. For example, a disturbingly high percentage of people with Type 2 Diabetes are obese. “Studies have shown that becoming overweight is a major risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Today, roughly 30 pe…

The Way Forward With Health Care

The Way Forward With Health Care
Health care costs are certainly a critical concern. “Americans often describe the U.S. health care system as the best in the world. But according to a report from the Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. health care system ranks last among 11 high-income countries. The country leads the world in health care spending, but its residents are sicker and more likely to die of preventable conditions than those in other wealthy countries.” From Last to First — Could the U.S. Health Care System Become the Best in the World?, July 2017.
In 2015, I compiled an analysis that assumed that health insurance costs would increase at the rates the actuaries for Foley Public Schools predicted and assumed the average income of a teacher increased at the rate of inflation at 2.5%. Under those assumptions, the percentage of the teacher’s salary that would go for health insurance would go up from 15% in 2015 to 34% in 2045. If extrapolated to the U.S. as a whole, it is clear that this…

Congresswoman Craig is politically posturing regarding health insurance

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By Rick Olson

Congresswoman Craig proposing “Medicare for all that want it” is simply political posturing by appearing to do something about health care costs.
Minnesota Congressional District 2 Congresswoman Angie Craig is playing the Democrat political strategy of exploiting the public angst about access and affordability of health care by taking what, on its face, appears to be a “moderate” stance, but in actuality is simply the camel’s nose in the tent for a government sponsored, universal, single payer health care plan that would eliminate the option of purchasing private health insurance. Once the nose is in, before long, the whole camel is in the tent.
The Medicare-X Choice Act of 2019 introduced in Congress
H.R.2000 - Medicare-X Choice Act of 2019, (known as the “Medicare for all that want it”, was introduced on April 1, 2019 and referred to two committees. It was co-sponsored by Representative Craig on June 26, 2019. No Congressional Budget Office cost analysis is yet available.…