Monthly Archives: November 2014

Making the case against net neutrality

tl;dr: It’s another instance of the government butting in with a cure worse than the alleged disease:

Here’s What ‘Net Neutrality’ Is… and What to Think About It

Simply put, net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. So your internet service provider, under a system of net neutrality, isn’t allowed to send some kinds of data to you faster. It has to treat everything the same—even if you wouldn’t mind, for example, slower emails if it meant smooth HD video on YouTube.

It also means that no one can pay to get their services to you quicker: Amazon can’t make its on-demand video services more attractive by outbidding Netflix so it can stream to you in higher quality. Finally, all applications and websites are treated the same—so if your internet connection is choppy, your service provider can’t prioritise Spotify to ensure smooth music playback.

In other words, it’s a bit of a drag. It limits a service provider’s freedom to operate their networks as they see fit, to provide customers with the best service, and it stops those providers offering higher-priced packages to heavy data users so they can enjoy a fast lane for Netflix without slowing down their neighbours’ connections. Product differentiation is one the main ways companies compete with one another, and providers will be denied that if net neutrality becomes law.

So why do so many people treat net neutrality as an article of faith? Well, the clue’s in those last three words, because most of the arguments in favour of neutrality have a suspicious ring of dogma about them—and most factual claims offered up to support neutrality don’t entirely stand up to scrutiny.

14 Ways Obamacare Is Still A Disaster That You Won’t Learn From Vox


14 Ways Obamacare Is Still A Disaster That You Won’t Learn From Vox

Here’s the short list…go to the article for the details:

  1. Premium Increases
  2. Exchange Subsidy Roller Coaster
  3. Reducing the Quality of Insurance
  4. Slashing Quality of Employer-Provided Insurance
  5. Here Come the Trial Lawyers!
  6. Enrollees Are Older and Sicker than Average
  7. People Dropping Exchange Coverage Are the Ones Exchanges Need Most
  8. The Exchanges Benefit Big Business at the Expense of Smaller Businesses
  9. Policy Cancellation Déjà Vu
  10. Medical Research Has Tanked
  11. Medicaid Still Provides Terrible Care for the Poor
  12. The Deficit Will Increase $131 Billion in the Next Ten Years
  13. Fewer Jobs for Low-Wage Workers
  14. More Economic Woes Ahead

I can corroborate point with my own experience. When our policy renewed in mid-2013, we had a choice to make: accept a switch from PPO coverage to HMO coverage for roughly the same price, or accept a 4x rate increase to keep PPO coverage.  At the time, there was a possibility that Tabitha might need to switch to my insurance if she had to quit her job due to her illness.  Her oncologist was available through the PPO, but not the HMO, so we bit the bullet and took the more-expensive option.  I’ve since switched to the HMO plan; it’s inferior coverage compared to the PPO plan, but since I’m not really using it, why spend more than I must?

The 2014 renewal fortunately didn’t include further alterations of the deal.  Who knows what 2015 will bring, though?  Horror stories like those described in the article would make it awfully tempting to  cancel coverage altogether, and to tell whatever goons the feral government sends by to GFY.