Monday, August 18, 2014

Be careful what you wish for...

The other day, Mike posted about the efficiency of Britain's Much Vaunted National Health System©, and made this observation:

"[T]he UK has for years led the US in terms of restrictions on its citizens’ access to specialized medical services and newer technologies.  In many respects, such restrictions make sense where overutilization is known to occur; in many other respects, setting an army of bureaucrats on a mission to "cut medical costs" is a terrifying idea."

He went on to note that we're now "committed to a [similar] path over the next 20 years." To which I would reply: You wish it was that far out:

"More than 300 patient advocacy groups recently wrote Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to complain about some insurer tactics that "are highly discriminatory against patients with chronic health conditions"

And what's their beef?

"Coverage of expensive drugs tops their concerns."

No kidding.

Here's the very simple Econ 101 response: you can have it good, you can have it fast, you can have it cheap.

Pick any two.

That is, when carriers are forced to accept all comers, regardless of their health and what meds they're on, and to cover any and all pre-existing conditions, something's going to give: astronomical premiums, restricted networks, or lower drug coverage.

Or maybe all three.

The folks behind the complaints clearly understand what's at stake:

"[The Administration] ought to make it very clear that if there is any kind of discrimination against people with chronic conditions, there will be enforcement action"

Or else, what?

It's been clear to many of us for a (long) while now that this is actually by design; that is, the true end goal of the ObamaTax is, in fact, Single Payer. And that is clearly what these "advocates" would prefer: after all, the government, unlike the insurance companies, is compassionate and has access to a bottomless well of money.

Or so they believe.

Perhaps, though, they should look to the MVNHS© to see how that story *really* ends.

Hint: not happily ever after.

[And be sure to check out Bob's take on this, as well]
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