October 17, 2012

OBAMACARE–A SLEDGE HAMMER TO KILL A GNAT:  John Goodman’s excellent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today shows why Obamacare’s mulit-trillion dollar transformation of 16% of the US economy is extreme overkill.  One of the chief problems supposedly solved by the law?  Pre-existing condition exclusions, whereby those with prior health conditions can’t get new coverage.  Of course, a 1996 law (HIPAA) had already severely scaled back the ability of group health insurance plans to exclude coverage for preexisting conditions— a point that almost no one ever makes (or realizes?).   That aside, however, Goodman’s point is this:

The Affordable Care Act established a federally funded risk pool—the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan—that allows individuals with such disqualifying conditions to buy a policy for the same premium a healthy person would pay. About 82,000 people have signed up as of July 31, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s statehealthfacts.org.

That is not a misprint. Out of a population of more than 300 million, some 82,000 have the problem that was cited as the principal reason for spending $1.8 trillion over the next 10 years and in the process turning the entire health-care system upside down.

Goodman points out that there are many better ways to take care of these 82,000 people.

This is a perfect example of  how government “solutions” rarely solve anything, and never do so efficiently.

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