Obamacare

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Obamacare

Post  Outerlimits on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:42 pm

The WSJ has a piece today arguing that because the ACA "ignored virtually every actuarial principle governing rational insurance pricing", insurance rates will soon skyrocket.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323936804578227890968100984.html


The argument is premised on universal coverage not working: "while Obamacare imposes a financial penalty—or is it a tax?—to discourage people from gaming the system, it is too low to be a real disincentive."

This is a big If, and potentially a major flaw in the argument, particularly since it ignores the "carrot" side of the equation; while there will be a penalty for not having insurance, there will also be a benefit from having insurance: you will be insured.

But accepting their supposition, that people will pay the penalty and game the system and therefore that rates will skyrocket, the authors make the interesting point that the states which will see the largest premium increases are those which (in their view) have been most responsible, in the sense that they have taken a laissez-faire approach to their health-insurance markets:

Ironically, citizens in states that have acted responsibly over the years by adhering to standard actuarial principles and limiting the (often politically motivated) mandates will see the biggest increases, because their premiums have typically been the lowest...Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming and Virginia will likely see the largest increases—somewhere between 65% and 100%. Another 18 states, including Texas and Michigan, could see their rates rise between 35% and 65%.
Now, again, the argument's premise is by no means indisputable, but setting that aside and supposing the authors are correct in their estimates, thirty-one states are soon to see health premiums soar beyond the ability of their market to pay. And of course, this list of thirteen states (putatively) facing the largest premium increases is notably red, only Iowa and Virginia not belonging firmly in the red-state column.


In those red states (again, assuming the authors' predictions are proved correct) such a steep price increase will certainly bring calls for repeal of Obamacare - but that's clearly not going to happen. So what will be the alternative?

People need health insurance. People in those states predicted to be most affected will, in many cases, simply be unable to afford health insurance. The contradiction will pose a significant danger, to public health, state budgets, and personal finances. Obamacare will, for them, be an impossible solution. Returning to the status quo ante won't be an option, because repeal isn't going to happen. What's left?

If these dire predictions come true (and again, by no means a certainty), it may well be that opinion-makers and leaders in these most-affected states are forced to consider the single-payer alternative faute de mieux.

Naturally, in these deepest-scarlet parts of the U.S., it will be necessary to avoid the impression that a state-wide single-payer plan is "socialism" - but then, in many of those states, there are precedents with less odious associations: farmer's cooperatives, Huey Long-style "redneck socialism", and other populist initiatives which, deployed correctly, could wash single-payer clean of any Bolshevik mental associations.

It may well be that the next step beyond Obamacare will come, not from raving-looney-leftie blue states, but from the firey-red parts of the country which, faced with no other alternative, resort to single-payer as the only way to escape their dilemma.


"Although President Obama repeatedly claimed that health-insurance premiums for a family would be $2,500 lower by the end of his first term, they are actually about $3,000 higher—a spread of about $5,500 per family."




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Re: Obamacare

Post  WHL on Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:36 pm

I have heard that what the government has wanted all along is the single payer. Obamacares does nothing to cut costs and anyone who ever believed that it would is very gullible.
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Re: Obamacare

Post  News Hawk on Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:30 am

Last year, my Wolfeboro Primary Physician said,
"Give Obama a chance".
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Re: Obamacare

Post  WHL on Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:49 am

OH did he? I know a lot who haven't said that.
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Re: Obamacare

Post  News Hawk on Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:22 am

My high regard for him just slipped a notch.

pale

Maybe he's read of this latest evaluation...I'll have to ask him—again.

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