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The Obamacare Slow Leak

22 Aug 2016

Maybe you have read some articles in the past weeks about insurance providers leaving the Obamacare market in some states (I just read another one today).  Well, it likely will get worse.  Here is what is happening.  First we need to understand how Obamacare works.  The entire scheme was predicated on the ability to tax (directly and indirectly) those with higher incomes and health care providers and redistribute this to poorer people and those who did not (often simply would not) have health insurance.  The health care providers were taxed directly in some cases but also indirectly by requiring the free provision of some services—which, by the way were already available either free or at extremely low prices.

At any rate, some insurance companies have found that all this free stuff is costly and that they cannot recoup their costs sufficiently to make a profit—which by the way is legally required to satisfy their stockholders and is necessary to pay for costs like salaries, light, heat, phone service, water, etc.  So they leave those more expensive markets.  As they leave competition goes down, leading to higher premiums and/or deductibles.  In some cases the companies stay and charge (or attempt to charge) higher premiums and deductibles.

You can see where this is leading.  Just as many predicted, including me, Obamacare is unsustainable.  It will either have to be substantially modified or scrapped and replaced.  I have suggested before my own preference and what I would replace it with, so I won’t rehash it here.  But it is time for citizens and voters to wake up and realize who put this unworkable policy in place—and who now refuse to lift a finger to change it.  This is the kind of misguided policy that only gives more power to bureaucrats, as we have seen with over 17,000 pages of regulations, and fails to achieve the good it was touted to highly to achieve.  When it comes to policy it would be nice if we lived in a world of complete objectivity, but we don’t.  We live in a fallen world in which individuals will inevitably make choices (and vote) to satisfy their own narrow agendas.  So I ask too much if I simply say we need some sort of “bipartisan” effort to “tweak” Obamacare.  I am afraid it needs much more than that, and secretly I bet even some Democrats agree, if they consider their constituents at all.  But they likely won’t do it.  So conservatives will have to do it.