Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

HCR -- PPACA Graphic

By John Ballard

This graphic from the Kaiser people is self-explanatory.

?Best comment this morning comes from Naomi Freundlich.

So the question remains: What happens next? Most importantly, health reform implementation can now proceed without the specter of imminent demise. This enormous experiment whose ultimate goal is to re-design our dysfunctional health care system and offer affordable, comprehensive coverage to the majority of Americans, can begin to play out-warts and all. It's like making the decision to get married after a couple has lived together a couple of years-there's no guarantee of success but at least the threat of an uncomplicated break-up is gone.

There are huge questions about implementation, the most compelling of which involve how reform will play out in the states. Will states maintain their Medicaid programs in the run up to the ACA-mandated expansion now that the Supreme Court has ruled that they no longer have to? Or will some states opt out of the Medicaid expansion altogether; refusing an expected infusion of billions of federal dollars and leaving hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of their poorer residents without benefits? How will states that have so far refused to set up health insurance exchanges carry out their required duties?

Now that the mandate has been upheld, ironically questions arise about how well it will function to prevent healthy people from "gaming the system;" staying out of the health insurance pool and making coverage more expensive for the rest of us.

As Ezra Klein wrote in Washington Monthly at the start of the Supreme Court arguments; "Perhaps the best deal in the bill is to pay the mandate penalty [which maxes out in 2016 at $695 per adult and $2,085 or 2% of income for families] year after year and only purchase insurance once you get sick. To knowingly free ride, in other words. In that world, the mandate acts as an option to purchase insurance at a low price when you need it. For that reason, when health-policy experts worry about the mandate, they don't worry that it is too coercive. They worry it isn't coercive enough."


  1. How does this compare to Hillary's famous health care plan in the '90's, I wonder?

  2. Interesting question. I was only vaguely aware of what was happening then, but I recall clearly that during the campaign the only discernible difference between her and Obama was the matter of the mandate. She was for it and he said it wasn't part of his plan. I think he knew better and was relieved when Congress included it. The money has to come from somewhere.
    The criticism I recall of Hillary Clinton's plan had more to do with her "tin ear" politically and the secrecy of negotiations. Her political skills have improved a lot since then.