By Mike Cronin
Why has the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) been a failure so far? Because it was doomed from the start. Just like any other sector of the economy that gets taken over by the government, health care cannot and will not be improved by central planning and control. But don’t we need Obamacare, so that people who don’t have health insurance can finally get coverage?
According Dr. Michael Hurd, a psychotherapist who writes a comprehensive mental health blog:
Health insurance started out as hospital insurance. People purchased hospital insurance in the marketplace so that they could afford catastrophic care when and if they needed it. Government regulations (e.g. mandating coverage for primary care) and tampering with/restricting the marketplace (e.g., no purchasing insurance across state lines; tax credits for large companies, but not individuals) are what led to health insurance premiums skyrocketing in the first place.
Piecemeal government interventions made the health care industry dysfunctional and insurance premiums un-affordable, so now the solution is…higher premiums for total government control of health care? Insane.
Health care providers will be unsatisfied because they will be paid based on what the government says they should be paid, not what free-market factors allow them to earn. Further, they will, be micromanaged and second-guessed by bureaucrats and bean-counters, and they will have to comply with ever more red tape. Bright young people, realizing this, will opt out of medical careers, exacerbating the shortage of care providers. To compensate, the government will be forced to either pay bonuses to medical providers…or draft people into the medical profession.
Beneficiaries are discovering that, enrollment debacle aside, they will be charged exorbitant premiums, (especially the youngest, healthiest adults, in order to pay for the more medically needy); sometimes including mandatory coverage that they don’t need (such as pregnancy coverage for males); that they won’t be able to keep insurance they already have (not because they law says they have to change companies, but because the economics of implementation have caused their employers to drop their old insurance), or the doctors they already have (again, because their insurance has changed). Some of the sickest beneficiaries will also discover that the government can arbitrarily decide that a given care regime is too costly, so it will be denied to them.
Think of it another way:
Imagine if we relied on auto insurance for “primary care” for our vehicles (fluid changes, tire rotations, wiper blades). Think of the paperwork and billing hassles we would endure for each little oil change. The overall cost of auto maintenance would increase to cover the business overhead. Soon, fewer Americans would be able to afford auto insurance, with serious ramifications for liability, setting the stage for a national crisis. It’s a ridiculous idea, isn’t it? Yet this is the way that health care works in America today. (from dpcare.org)