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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Liberal bitter because insurance company profits fell

Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post wrote, "This is what a death spiral looks like," about Obamacare. She meant the death of insurance company profits.

She talked to Larry Levitt, senior vice president for health reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

He is upset because Obamacare was working -- for insurance companies, that is.

"With insurers now mostly profitable in the ACA individual insurance market, I would have expected single-digit premium increases for 2019 reflecting health-cost growth. With repeal of the individual mandate and expansion of short-term plans, double-digit hikes are now likely," Levitt said.

This is an admission that insurance rates soared under Obamacare not because of rising health care prices ("health costs") but because of rising profits.

His argument was that insurance companies would suddenly back off on the increases. Of course, the sales pitch for Obamacare originally was that it would save the average family $2,500 a year in premiums.

Obama forced young people to buy insurance they didn't need to subsidize the insurance of those who needed it. The artificial increase in demand led to an increase in prices which meant more money to the fat cat insurance companies.

In December, Republicans passed President Trump's tax cuts.

"The GOP tax law passed in December repealed the individual mandate. This freed healthy people to drop their insurance plans without penalty. The Congressional Budget Office has projected that eliminating the mandate alone will increase individual-market premiums by about 10 percent in most years over the next decade, relative to prices with the mandate in place," Rampell wrote.

In other words, healthy people were subsidizing premiums for unhealthy people.

Republicans ended this.

Trump also ended Obama's edicts of covering birth control, mental health, and other things most people do not need. Imagine an edict that people in Rhode Island must buy volcano insurance because people in Hawaii pay too much for theirs.

Rampell is furious.

"The net effect of all these changes: Younger, healthier and cheaper enrollees are getting siphoned out of the Obamacare marketplace. Older, sicker and more expensive people are sticking around, because they actually need coverage," she wrote.

Actually need coverage.


What a concept.

Only those who actually need coverage buy it.

The public did not want Obamacare. The problem of people with existing conditions that make health insurance prohibitively expensive could have been resolved with a small subsidy. Instead, Democrats used this to force people to buy something they did not want.

Insurance companies made money. And Obama's net worth soared.


  1. Obamacare is a mess, but most folk DO want to live without fear of sickness making them bankrupt.

    Trump is great on judges -- thanks to Heritage list of great judges. Trump should look into Health Maintenance Orgs, with incentives for individuals to take steps to stay healthy.

    But actual replacement of Obamacare might need to wait until after November and more conservative Reps are in office.

    Good to remind folk that all the insurance companies liked Obamacare before ...

    1. The health insurance funding crisis is entirely the fault of government's meddling where it does not belong.

      Setting prices by fiat in Medicare and Medicaid was the first blow.

      The head-in-the-sand denial about mandatory cost shifting due to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act was the second blow.

      The USDA Food Pyramid's making half of the nation obese and hurling them down the road to type 2 diabetes is the third.

      Get the federal government the hell out of healthcare, and even if things will not fix themselves, it will at least cost us a hell of a lot less.

    2. I think that the only reliable way to get government out of medicine is to abolish licensing.

      Read chapter nine of Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom.

  2. Obamacare did nothing to reduce the cost of healthcare, nor did it make more healthcare available. It increased demand without increasing supply, and forced some people to subsidize others.

    If you get "free healthcare" that just means somebody else is paying for it. It's not "insurance" because how much you pay is based on how much you earn, not how much healthcare you need or use.

    That's the math.

    In order for promises of more healthcare for less cost to work we have to increase the amount of healthcare we produce while also reducing the cost per unit. That means we need more doctors, more nurses, and more hospitals, but we have to control how much they get paid without reducing quality.

    Malpractice is a whole 'nuther can 'o worms.

    I used to support socialized medicine until I started doing the math. It does not matter which system you use, the numbers do not add up. There are no magic beans.

    The fixes proposed by the GOP don't work either. There is not a single politician in either party that is telling people the truth about health care reform.

    We can do some form of national healthcare, but it will not be cheap and there will be chronic problems with quality and waiting periods. And some people will have to subsidize others.

    1. I keep wondering if I'm forced to subsidize someone else's health care, why can I not force them to live a certain lifestyle. No smoking, no drinking, you will exercise, and you will only be able to buy certain foods with your EBT. Nobody should get anything for free - there needs to be some kind of costs associated with their "free" health care.

    2. Hey, if we're paying for birth control...we can take care of the incels too.

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  4. People say that Socialists don't understand the free market. I don't think this is true. They understand it- they just HATE it. They understand that no one wants to buy what they're trying to sell, and therefore their economic policies are doomed to failure. They find this very frustrating, so every one of their economic government policies is designed to steal away your ability to decide what to do with your own money.

  5. Obama also illegally funneled tax payer money to insurance companies guaranteeing their pre-Obamacare profit margins. They didn't have to be competitive. They didn't have to offer good service. They didn't have to be good fiduciaries of customer premiums. Obama guaranteed them.

    No wonder they loved Obamacare and hate returning to a position where they have to please the premium payers.