Washington Times: Yeah, Obamacare is a disaster

In by Poor RichardLeave a Comment

Hey remember when Obama told us how wonderful Obamacare was going to be? Well, even the media has stopped believing him.

From the Washington Times:

With the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently finding the individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) unconstitutional, the goals of health care reform are making headlines once again.

Many of these goals seem laudable. Proponents of health care reform want health insurance to be available to all Americans, with premiums unrelated to a person’s health status. In addition, they want to make health insurance affordable for everyone, regardless of income or employment. They hope to lower health care costs through better information and accountability. They also claim that these goals can be achieved with small increases in government expenditures that can be offset by modest, targeted tax increases. If these goals were attainable via the provisions of the PPACA, it might deserve our support.

Not only are many of the goals that led to the PPACA appealing, but economic principles played an important role in how it was designed. For example, the Obama administration included an individual mandate as a way to overcome the economic problem of adverse selection. In short, if government requires insurance companies to provide insurance to those with existing health problems for the same price as those who are healthy, most healthy people will choose not to purchase such insurance, raising the cost substantially for those who do. By requiring everyone to buy insurance and prohibiting insurance companies from setting rates based on health status, Congress intended to force healthy consumers to share some of the costs of insuring those with poor health so that premiums in the aggregate are high enough to cover costs.

In spite of the efforts that went into its design, the PPACA will do more harm than good. Although it might reduce insurance premiums that must be paid by those who presently are unable to afford health insurance, it will not come close to accomplishing the other goals listed above.

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While this article does a good job of explaining many of the problems associated with Obamacare, it does so from a pragmatic perspective and not a principled one. I understand that this approach is probably best for the average politically unengaged citizen but I am desperate for a major media outlet to unequivocally proclaim that it is not the role of the federal government to interfere in someone’s personal life, especially with something as private as a person’s health. Is that too much to ask?

If the media won’t do it, maybe the courts will.