When the Affordable Care Act became law, we were told the benefits to America would be numerous. Costs would go down, insurance coverage would go up, and our nation would join the enlightened nations of Europe in having a larger government presence in our health care system.
Now the real effects of the Act are becoming clear. From Real Clear Markets comes this sobering analysis:
As the Affordable Care Act–otherwise known as ObamaCare–begins to be implemented, we are seeing its first big consequence: it is making care less affordable.
The New York Times reports that “Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.”
“Even though”? In fact, Obamacare is simply doing what a lot of people predicted it would. Critics of ObamaCare warned that it would produce precisely the kind of premium increases we are now seeing, for precisely the reasons that new reports are now citing.
I was one of those critics, and I take no joy in pointing out that we told you so.
The author, Robert Tracinski, goes into a solid takedown of Obamacare’s fiscal failings; the entire piece is worth reading in full. In short, however, he outlines the same concerns with the individual mandate, guaranteed coverage, health exchanges, and the insurance company rebates that Tea Party Patriots and other organizations have been highlighting for years. One of his closing assessments is devastating:
Another article which cites many of the same problems I have just described marvels that “The congressional Democrats who crafted the legislation ignored virtually every actuarial principle governing rational insurance pricing.”
Tracinski closes his piece by stating the point of Obamacare was to create a system of dependency which, once it fails, will cause the American people to go back to government for a more expansive government solution. While it is unknown if Tracinski is correct in this final point, it does follow the same path as other failed government health care solutions used to justify Obamacare. Consider just two:
- The law requiring emergency rooms to accept all patients was a key argument for implementation of various aspects of Obamacare, and the Obama campaign used it to hammer Mitt Romney in September 2012. In short, the campaign admitted the emergency room provision (signed into law by President Ronald Reagan) increases cost for those with insurance, among other negative components.
- The tax bias of the World War II-era employer-based health insurance system is one important factor in making the individual health insurance market too expensive for most Americans to afford it.
In 2008, the federal government’s intrusion into the financial markets caused a crash, which led to more government involvement in the financial markets, both through regulation and more collusion between private and public partners in Washington. Tracinski’s final point indicates this is the kind of health care collusion that will happen as the relationship between specific private-sector partners in Washington become increasingly tighter with elites in Washington.