The Outstater

January 24, 2022

“You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” — Ayn Rand

Running Hospitals by Decree

THE STATEHOUSE LEADERSHIP has written a letter — sternly worded, mind you —warning Indiana’s health providers, among the most powerful lobbies, that if they don’t lower hospital and medical costs  . . . well, something will happen.

Senate President Rodric Bray and Speaker of the House Todd Huston told 20 healthcare executive to work together to match Indiana’s health care costs to the national average or the state will “pursue legislation to statutorily reduce prices”  — in three or four years maybe.

Hah, when has that ever worked? It is pathetic on two levels: First, it assumes it has never occurred to hospital and insurance executives that Hoosiers might prefer lower prices; and second that the state can command pricing without ruinous consequences.

Moreover, it encapsulates how the leaders of the GOP super majority see themselves — running the state as members of a crony board of public-private interests issuing directives and memos guiding us to regulatory bliss.

There of course are ways to lower hospital and medical costs but they involve the state getting out of the way by freeing up markets and discouraging monopoly, actions that anger powerful people and go beyond nasty letters.

Those serious about the issue are commended to the winter 2015 Indiana Policy Review, “Where Did Your Doctor Go?”

Equality, not Equity, You Dope

IF HOOSIERS have ever wondered what it would look like to have a real Republican governor, a comparison of press releases announcing state diversity directors offers a glimpse.

In Virginia, newly elected Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order replacing “equity” with “equality” in the title of the state’s diversity director, formerly a member of the Senior Foreign Service Selection Board for the U.S. Department of State.

Youngkin made clear that the position would be refocused on promoting ideas, policies and economic opportunities rather than quotas and preferences. “The director’s experience in government, nonprofits and the private sector will guide us as we ensure that the government is working for all Virginians across our diverse Commonwealth, especially when it comes to economic opportunity for all Virginians,” Youngkin said.

Back home in Indiana, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced his new Chief Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity Officer with the gusto of a Chicago neighborhood organizer. The governor’s office said the new director, formerly a public-relations officer at Notre Dame, will focus on “improving state government operations as well as drive systemic change to remove hurdles in the government workplace and services the state provides.” The new director herself added that she will use the office to “drive cultural change” by increasing equity and inclusion — a sneaky way of establishing quotas, others would say.

Indiana Republicans might pay more attention to their choices in primaries this next cycle. — tcl


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