Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Been tellin' ya so...

We've long maintained that ObamneyCare© would ring the death-knell for group insurance. It appears, though, that we may have miscalculated when that might happen.

Turns out, a lot quicker than even we'd anticipated:

"Fewer people received insurance coverage through their employer in 2010 than in 2009, and the number of people covered through government insurance programs continued to rise, according to 2010 data reported Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau."

This follows what we've long noted, that employers aren't stupid, and understand that the smart-money move is to let the taxpayer pick up employees' health insurance tab. It's also additional proof - as if any is needed - that the end goal here is single-payer.

The problem, of course, is that we now have fewer choices, although they are more expensive. As Ohio's Insurance Commissioner Mary Taylor notes:

"By requiring consumers to buy services they do not want or need, costs will rise significantly."

We're already seeing that.

She continues:

"Obamacare limits the deductible amount a consumer can choose to pay each year."

Say goodbye to HSA's, which were really the only product capable of actually affecting the cost of health care.

"Obamacare squeezes the rating rules for insurance carriers in Ohio forcing some to pay higher premiums."

This is one that, in my opinion, gets far too little play in the media. It means that companies have less room for differentiation, and thus competition. That, in turn, means less ability to reduce premiums, or even just mitigate increases.

Ms Taylor has more on this:

"And because choices are no longer rewarded, insurance companies will be forced to treat everyone the same resulting in skyrocketing premiums for many low-risk, health conscious consumers."

One of ObamneyCare© proponents' favorite go-to arguments is to compare health insurance to car insurance. Their point is that since auto insurance is "mandatory" (which, of course, it's not), health insurance should be, as well. What they don't tell you is that auto insurance companies can - and do - discriminate against young male drivers, and speeders, and drunk drivers.

But then, logic was never one of their strong suits.

[Hat Tip for Mary Taylor article: FoIB Holly R]
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