Contra Mozilla

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Quick Link: Winners and Losers--But Mostly, Losers

Ross Douthat on the winners and losers of Obamacare:
"The wreck of matters most of all because of what it means for the underlying workability of the policy, but it also matters in the short term because it’s preventing a pro-Obamacare coalition from coalescing among the law’s beneficiaries: Without a working interface, the upside of the reform remains invisible to a lot of people even as the downside goes out in cancellation notices and rate increases.... 
But “rate shock” seems different, because premium increases in the individual market creates a set of Obamacare losers within a group of people who weren’t obviously winners to begin with. A couple like the Harrises of Fullerton, California, for instance, making $80,000 a year and buying on the individual market in a high cost-of-living state, were already disadvantaged relative to the millions Americans who get insurance through an employer and benefit from the employer tax break; now they’ll be paying an extra $1500 a year as well (albeit, yes, perhaps for more comprehensive coverage).... 
And to dig back into the position where I do strongly disagree with Cohn’s perspective, what makes this setup potentially more perverse is that it raises rates most sharply on precisely those Americans who up until now were doing roughly what we should want more health insurance purchasers to do: Economizing, comparison shopping, avoiding paying for coverage they don’t need, and buying a level of insurance that covers them in the event of a true disaster while giving them a reason not to overspend on everyday health expenses. 
If we want health inflation to stay low and health care costs to be less of an anchor on advancement, we should want more Americans making $50,000 or $60,000 or $70,000 to spend less upfront on health insurance, rather than using regulatory pressure to induce them to spend more. And seen in that light, the potential problem with Obamacare’s regulation-driven “rate shock” isn’t that it doesn’t let everyone keep their pre-existing plans. It’s that it cancels plans, and raises rates, for people who were doing their part to keep all of our costs low."

Obamacare turns a few of the previous winners into losers, which is unfortunate enough, but worse still it turns some of the previous losers into bigger losers. Thanks to the web debacle, there just aren't that many "winners" yet under Obamacare, and in fact more people have lost insurance than gained it. Actually, more people have lost their insurance in just three states than have successfully applied for it in all 50. Worse, this may actually be a part of Obama's own plans for Obamacare, and he certainly did know that it would be likely, and it is clear that he is lying about (and trying to cover up) the effects of Obamacare. We can only hope that people remember this next November.

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