“[A]lthough the PPACA adds a number of significant elements to the U.S. health care system (in particular, the exchanges), it’s primarily an entrenchment and expansion of the existing system. Given the failures of that system, though, that presents a serious problem.”
The new health system in Massachusetts included huge subsidies to provide insurance coverage on a new exchange, but lacked cost control components. This is leading employers to drop health insurance for their workers and get the government to pick up the tab. ObamaCare has the same features and incentive structure, which means the national costs will rise sharply over previous estimates, just like in Massachusetts.
Maine’s Insurance Commissioner is requesting an exemption from the onerous new “medical loss ratio” regulations in ObamaCare. It would likely force one of the state’s larger insurers out of the market, greatly restricting choice and competition.
Real health-care reform — of the kind that would lower costs, rather than raise them — would require increasing Americans’ control of their own health-care dollars and making prices more transparent, but ObamaCare would merely increase government control and funnel more of Americans’ money to insurers, whether they want it to go there or not.
When campaigning, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick promised to lower health insurance costs for families. When the tightly regulated Massachusetts insurance market resulted in increased premium costs, he turned to price controls. Insurers successfully appealed to have the Administration’s rate freezes overturned, because they would lead to insurers going out of business. ObamaCare is structured with similar regulations as the Massachusetts health system, and Obama made the same promises about lowering premiums, which are proving impossible to fulfill, so federal price controls might be in our near future.
When it comes to ways to make coverage available to uninsured Americans with expensive preexising conditions, high-risk pools would cost less than one-tenth as much as ObamaCare, wouldn’t raise everyone else’s premiums, wouldn’t decimate the private insurance market, and wouldn’t leave us with government-run health care.
As health care becomes politicized — with basic economic principles being denied — the Obama administration considers coercing states to issue price-controls on health insurers, by threatening to withhold tax revenue to states if they don’t. This would effectively leave private insurers with only two options: ration care, or go out of business.
ObamaCare bears about as much resemblance to the Heritage Foundation’s ideas for empowering patients and lowering costs as a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese does to a salad.
Obamacare would offer major financial rewards for couples who live together but avoid marriage — and it’s extreme marginal tax-rates on a marriage’s second income would provide a strong incentive for the lower-earning spouse (most often the woman) to leave the workforce.
With private websites like eHealth.com already offering services to assist those looking to purchase health insurance, ObamaCare’s Health Benefit Exchanges would simply be a waste of taxpayer dollars.