The secretary of Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services watched this week as the agency he has run for the last six years turned into a national laughingstock after federal officials indicted 13 women who, as guards at the Baltimore City Detention Center, acted like little more than underlings for members of a dangerous prison gang, the Black Guerrilla Family. Four of the correctional officers became reportedly pregnant by the leader of the gang, and two of them had his name tattooed onto their bodies—one on her neck, the other on her wrist.
[…]The allegations unsealed in the federal indictment are eye-popping. Many have been quick to make the comparison to The Wire, the crime drama that put Baltimore’s criminal underworld into the public consciousness, but what appears to have gone on at the Baltimore City Detention Center, a medieval-looking hulk of a jail in the center of town, would strain the credulity of HBO. Female guards smuggled cellphones, marijuana, and prescription drugs to inmates. Gang members ordered hits from inside the jail and dined on salmon and Grey Goose vodka that was smuggled in on their behalf. Corrections officers stood guard for one another so they could have sex with inmates. They warned prisoners of upcoming searches of their cells by unfriendly colleagues. Tavon White, the leader of the Black Guerrilla Family who allegedly impregnated four of the guards and was there waiting for his murder trial to commence, was caught bragging on a wiretap: “This is my jail. You understand that? I’m dead serious. I make every final call in this jail.”
Maybe we should be setting some limits on the feminist idea that men and women are interchangeable, and that women have to make up have the workforce of every job that men do. That’s the feminist ideal, but I don’t think that customers (in this case, the taxpayers) are well-served by it.
If we as citizens keep voting for bigger government, we need to understand that government is thoroughly compromised by left-wing ideologies that are not interested in producing results for us. If you want to get value for money, you go to the private sector and buy something from a private business that is accountable to you on price and quality. We already have lots of private sector run prisons here, and they work better than Baltimore, that’s for sure. Even other countries have tried privatized prisons, why not Maryland?
Chairman [Paul] Ryan: “[I]t’s been argued…that the new health care law will create jobs and increase labor force participation. But if I recall from your analysis, it was quite the opposite. Is that not the case?”
Director [Douglas] Elmendorf : “Yes.”…
Rep. [John] Campbell: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, we’ll — and Dr. Elmendorf — and we’ll continue this conversation right now. First on health care, before I get to — before I get to broader issues, you just mentioned that you believe — or that in your estimate, that the health care law would reduce the labor used in the economy by about 1/2 of 1 percent, given that, I believe you say, there’s 160 million full-time people working in ’20-’21. That means that, in your estimation, the health care law would reduce employment by 800,000 in ’20-’21. Is that correct?
Director Elmendorf: Yes. The way I would put it is that we do estimate, as you said, that…employment will be about 160 million by the end of the decade. Half a percent of that is 800,000.
If policymakers are serious about real patient-centered, consumer-driven health care reform, they should ensure that their legislative proposals embody six key principles:
Individuals are the key decision makers in the health care system. This would be a major departure from conventional third-party payment arrangements that dominate today’s health care financing in both the public and the private sectors. In a normal market based on personal choice and free-market competition, consumers drive the system.
Individuals buy and own their own health insurance coverage. In a normal market, when individuals exchange money for a good or service, they acquire a property right in that good or service, but in today’s system, individuals and families rarely have property rights in their health insurance coverage. The policy is owned and controlled by a third party, either their employers or government officials. In a reformed system, individuals would own their health insurance, just as they own virtually every other type of insurance in virtually every other sector of the economy.
Individuals choose their own health insurance coverage. Individuals, not employers or government officials, would choose the health care coverage and level of coverage that they think best. In a normal market, the primacy of consumer choice is the rule, not the exception.
Individuals have a wide range of coverage choices. Suppliers of medical goods and services, including health plans, could freely enter and exit the health care market.
Prices are transparent. As in a normal market, individuals as consumers would actually know the prices of the health insurance plan or the medical goods and services that they are buying. This would help them to compare the value that they receive for their money.
Individuals have the periodic opportunity to change health coverage. In a consumer-driven health insurance market, individuals would have the ability to pick a new health plan on predictable terms. They would not be locked into past decisions and deprived of the opportunity to make future choices.
And if you’re looking for a nice short podcast on consumer-driven health care, go right here.
If you want a book on this, you can get Regina Hertzlinger’s book (interview here), although I read it, and I found it filled with too many case studies and stories and not enough policy analysis.