top of page
Screenshot (34).png

The Incredibly High Price of Quick Fixes and Free Stuff


The election is close and the Biden administration is near panic. They have made a mess of the country and in a desperate last-ditch attempt to win a second term, the Biden-Harris campaign is blitzing the country with news of quick fixes and free stuff for everyone while they gaslight us about our great economy and secure border. As a so-called swing state, Wisconsin will get more than its share of visits.


Members of this administration, like so many career politicians, have never worked in the private sector and have no understanding of basic business concepts and the unintended consequences that often result when complex relationships among the parts of a whole are not understood. Regulation and taxes are the liberals’ answers to making the system work.


Joe Biden visited the Madison Technical College last month to tout his latest attempt to skirt the Constitution by forgiving student loan debt on the backs of tax paying Americans. The Administration plans to cancel $146 billion in student debt affecting 30 million people. Consistent with their cynical disregard for personal responsibility, the White House says it will take steps to “hold colleges accountable for leaving borrowers with mountains of debt and without  good job prospects.” The Biden administration carefully nuanced its announcement with “if finalized as proposed,” knowing full well that these executive actions will likely be blocked in court and never deliver what they are promising.


While debating with Pete Buttigieg for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden said Buttigieg had never done anything more significant than fix potholes when he was Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Yet when he became President he appointed Buttigieg Secretary of Transportation. Last month Buttigieg spent his time on the campaign trail touting the administration’s crack down on the airlines. Billed as the “biggest expansion of passenger rights,” airlines that cancel or significantly delay a flight will be required to refund the fee in cash within 7 days.


The government launched a website to advise passengers of their recourse if their airline fails to perform. Buttigieg used the $140 million enforcement fine the government levied against Southwest Airlines for its 2022 “holiday meltdown” as evidence of his department’s new standard for enforcement. This fine was almost double the total penalties received over the previous 2 decades. Under the Biden Department of Transportation (DOT), airlines have issued over $3 billion in refunds and the DOT has partnered with 18 state attorneys general to investigate consumer complaints. Weeks after Buttigieg trumpeted these new regulations, Southwest announced it is ending service to four major airports and significantly restructuring other markets including Chicago and Atlanta. One thing is certain. Maintaining profitability will always drive a business’s response to adversity. Raising prices, slashing jobs, and scaling back services are common strategies. How these changes ultimately impact the flying public’s satisfaction remains to be seen.


Recent pandering for votes also includes the Administration’s “crack down on inadequate nursing home care”. Announced by Kamala Harris during a recent visit to Wisconsin, the administration has implemented minimum staffing requirements to address the problem of nursing homes that “chronically understaff their facilities, leading to sub-standard or unsafe care.” 


Health care delivery and reimbursement are very complex but it’s not difficult to understand the obvious risks and unintended consequences that will flow from the simplistic thinking that resulted in these new mandates.


The greatest cost in a nursing home is the people who provide the care. Attracting and retaining qualified staff is extremely challenging for many reasons and appropriate staffing depends on many factors. It is not an absolute number.


Nursing home care is paid for by the individual if they have assets and the government through its Medicaid program when they don’t. Ironically, the same government that is mandating more staff pays nursing homes a fraction of what it costs them to deliver care. “Cost shifting,” meaning charging private payers more to compensate for government shortfalls, is how nursing homes (and all health care organizations) survive. Nursing home care in Wisconsin costs an average of $10,500 a month. Residents who have savings are required to pay the monthly charge until their assets are down to $2,000. They then qualify for Medicaid. Those who have no savings qualify immediately for Medicaid. You don’t have to be an accountant to realize that too many residents paying less than it costs to care for them will put a facility out of business.


Government bureaucrats believe mandating a staffing number will make it so. The more likely consequences to the staffing mandate include closures of nursing homes that cannot make ends meet, reducing the number of available beds to meet the staffing requirement, limiting the number of Medicaid patients accepted or no longer accepting Medicaid at all. None of these probabilities have been factored into the administration’s happy talk and none of them will improve the availability of quality nursing home care.


The Biden administration has a long list of election year executive orders they hope will distract us from their failures. There is no doubt that corruption, greed, and leadership incompetence can be found across American industries just as they are in the public sector. The airlines do not deliver on service and price and health care is a complicated behemoth that costs too much and does not produce the outcomes it should. But as long as we continue to elect incompetent pretenders disinterested in, and incapable of, tackling serious problems in meaningful ways, we will be paying the incredibly high price of quick fixes and free stuff.

bottom of page