Friday, April 15, 2016

Who Could Have Predicted This?

Well, actually anyone paying attention back in 2009 and 2010.  Anyone who realized the details of legislation are important and that it is not just about running around mouthing slogans designed to make the speaker feel better about themselves and send virtue signals to others; slogans like "health care is a right!" and "we need to do something!", as was pointed out in the BBC Show, Yes Minister:

From The Hill (the Washington DC paper focusing on Congress):

Insurers Warn Losses From Obamacare Are Unsustainable
Insurers say they are losing money on their ObamaCare plans at a rapid rate, and some have begun to talk about dropping out of the marketplaces altogether.

“Something has to give,” said Larry Levitt, an expert on the health law at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Either insurers will drop out or insurers will raise premiums.”

While analysts expect the market to stabilize once premiums rise and more young, healthy people sign up, some observers have not ruled out the possibility of a collapse of the market, known in insurance parlance as a “death spiral.”

In the short term, there is a growing likelihood that insurers will push for substantial premium increases, creating a political problem for Democrats in an election year.
Insurers have been pounding the drum about problems with ObamaCare pricing.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association released a widely publicized report last month that said new enrollees under ObamaCare had 22 percent higher medical costs than people who received coverage from employers.
Let's review how we got to this point (more background on the statements below read THC's prior Healthcare posts):

Obamacare was passed accompanied by a bodyguard of lies:
That there were 40+ million uninsured when the real number of Americans without insurance and who were not already eligible for SCHIP or Medicaid or who had chosen not to purchase insurance was closer to one quarter of that number.

That health insurance was equated with healthcare and health outcomes when the research literature has been unable to clearly establish the linkage.

That you could keep your health insurance plan if you liked it and your doctors if you liked them when millions of Americans have lost their existing coverage because of Obamacare and up to 93 million are ultimately at risk of losing their existing coverage, according to Obama's own Department of Health & Human Services.

That the average family would save $2500 in insurance costs when, as Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber later admitted, there were no cost control measure built into the legislation.
A CEO of a company making statements this misleading would be guilty of consumer fraud.

Today, the country faces rising insurance premiums, higher deductibles, a narrowing of choice under many policies with 21 of the 22 Obamacare co-ops losing money (and several bankrupt), even after receiving billions in Federal subsidies.  And this is even with the Imperial Presidency of Barack Obama illegally and arbitrarily changing statutory deadlines to avoid having some of the worst provisions of the act kick in before the 2012 and 2014 elections.

It is becoming ever more clear in retrospect that improving access to healthcare was only a secondary goal of Obamacare.  The primary goal was to assert government control over 1/6 of the economy.

It's why Obamacare was designed as a top-down bureaucratic management system.

It's why Democrats refused to allow any hearings or amendments regarding Republican proposals which attempted to give consumers more choice in an effort to improve availability and control costs.

A top-down government run system allows faceless bureaucrats to make decisions, not individual citizens.   It allows the government to intercede in areas outside of the scope of the original bill, because once the government is spending its funds it has the justification to control individual actions.  An approach that would free up individuals to spend their own funds would not allow for such control.  It also helps progressives achieve their goal of destroying or bending to their will all of the voluntary and independent associations Americans spontaneously form.  Without Obamacare, progressives would not have the leverage to destroy the charitable religious organization, the Little Sisters of the Poor.

But those who proposed and enacted Obamacare knew they had two things in their favor.  The first, that it is much harder to undo a new government benefit once it has passed, because the new class of beneficiaries will lobby hard against change and second, with the hybrid insurance system of Obamacare, the politicians can turn around and blame the insurance companies for the costs of premiums.

The fundamental issue of philosophy dividing us is between those who think the marketplace is the best mechanism ever created for identifying the collective will through the decisions of millions of individuals and those who cannot abide undirected collective action and believe it must be harnessed to flow in narrow, defined channels as determined by people like themselves.

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