The New York Times finally figures out why ObamaCare won’t work. The example? New York.
This info, of course, has been available for years, but those dauntless and investigative reporters within the New York Times organization have just recently stumbled upon an example which, if revealed earlier, might have derailed the ObamaCare train. Might. I mean, that assumes every shady technical device known to politicians wouldn’t have been used to ram it through – but who knows, it might have been enough to dampen the vote in the House had it been chronicled.
What in the world am I talking about? Why the health care system in New York state – the one the flagship NYT suffers under. The health care insurance system that’s been in place for years – decades even.
New York’s insurance system has been a working laboratory for the core provision of the new federal health care law — insurance even for those who are already sick and facing huge medical bills — and an expensive lesson in unplanned consequences. Premiums for individual and small group policies have risen so high that state officials and patients’ advocates say that New York’s extensive insurance safety net for people like Ms. Welles is falling apart.
The problem stems in part from the state’s high medical costs and in part from its stringent requirements for insurance companies in the individual and small group market. In 1993, motivated by stories of suffering AIDS patients, the state became one of the first to require insurers to extend individual or small group coverage to anyone with pre-existing illnesses.
New York also became one of the few states that require insurers within each region of the state to charge the same rates for the same benefits, regardless of whether people are old or young, male or female, smokers or nonsmokers, high risk or low risk.
Healthy people, in effect, began to subsidize people who needed more health care. The healthier customers soon discovered that the high premiums were not worth it and dropped out of the plans. The pool of insured people shrank to the point where many of them had high health care needs. Without healthier people to spread the risk, their premiums skyrocketed, a phenomenon known in the trade as the “adverse selection death spiral.”
You remember the outrage when an insurance company in California tried to raise its premiums 30+%? It cited “adverse selection death spiral” as the reason – it is covering sicker people who are much costlier while the healthier are leaving the plan due to the cost. Massachusetts is undergoing the very same phenomenon. the four non-profit insurance providers have requested rather large premium increases (and been denied them) for the very same reason as the California company And now we discover, New York – which, as the article points out has been a “working laboratory for the core provisions of the federal health care law” for years – is and has been playing out the precise outcome many who opposed this bill foretold.
And somehow, until now, that never managed to find its way into the pages of the Times. As an aside, I have to say that since it has turned to advocacy journalism, it is a pale shadow of its former self and that’s one of the reasons it is headed toward ruin.
Anyway, apparently the politicians in DC learned from the New York debacle. Thus the individual mandate and the fine on employers for not covering their employees. Otherwise, as New York has proven:
“You have a mandate that’s accessible in theory, but not in practice, because it’s too expensive,” said Mark P. Scherzer, a consumer lawyer and counsel to New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage, an advocacy group. “What you get left clinging to the life raft is the population that tends to have pretty high health needs.”
And the Democrats don’t want the insurance companies to be able to charge the sick what is necessary to cover them. Instead they want to force healthier Americans to subsidize the expense through coercive mandates and fines.
Amazing – and yet there are those among us who will look you in the eye, and with a straight face tell you this is exactly what the founders of the country envisioned when they wrote the Constitution.
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