The New York Times earlier this month had an article about the reduced competition and rising cost of health insurance premiums. In the article, there’s the following quote:
“Supporters of the public option warned that private insurance companies could not be trusted to provide reliable coverage or control costs,” said Richard J. Kirsch, who led a grass-roots organization that fought for passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010. “The shrinking number of health insurers is proof that these warnings were spot on.”
Talk about cognitive dissonance. So government creates a problem by intervening in the market, and statists reflexively react by blaming the market and calling for even more government intervention to try to solve it.
That Obamacare would result in rising premiums was perfectly predictable. Here’s me writing in July 2012, for example:
As already noted, the obvious consequence of such legislation would be to provide people with an incentive not to buy insurance until they actually needed it, which would force insurance companies to increase premiums on everybody. Imagine the effect on companies offering fire insurance if they were forced by law to provide insurance to people after their homes had burned down. This would obviously defeat the whole purpose of insurance and either immediately put providers out of business or force them to raise premiums on anyone foolish enough to actually purchase a policy before such an unexpected catastrophe occurred.
Here’s me writing in October 2012, for another example:
There are two predictable immediate consequences: one, insurers will have to increase premiums to cover the additional costs that would be incurred; and, two, people would have an incentive to not buy insurance unless and until they get sick. Thus a bill that ostensibly set out to make insurance more affordable and to have more people be insured included reform that would produce the exact opposite results. But instead of recognizing that this was just bad policy and scrapping it, they came up with another “solution” to solve the very problem that they, with their own bureaucratic bungling, created in the first place: the individual mandate, among the practical effects of which include forcing young people who have lower incomes to subsidize the costs of care for older people with higher incomes and forcing healthy people who eat right and exercise to subsidize the costs of unhealthy people whose lifestyle choices result in their higher health care expenses.
In May 2013, I noted:
But that Obamacare will have the unintended consequence of doing just the opposite and increasing premium costs should also be completely unsurprising.
I explained why the so-called “Affordable Care Act” wasn’t going to do anything to make health care more affordable here (August 2013). I noted for the record Paul Krugman’s response to rising premiums as a consequence of Obamacare was “Well, duh” here (September 2013).
I explained why a secondary consequence of the law would be smaller “networks” of doctors, making it harder for people to find care without having to pay out of pocket, here and here (October 2013). I pointed out how “rate shock” was an intended consequence of Obamacare here (October 2013), and reiterated the point, noting how Obama’s promise that the law would reduce everyone’s premiums was a bald-faced lie, here (November 2013).
But, nope. The lesson to be drawn, according to Obamacare supporter Richard J. Kirsch, is that the rising premiums and lessening competition just proves that the free market doesn’t work!
Oh, and by the way, the so-called Affordable Care Act is also a tyrannical usurpation of power that grossly infringes on individual liberty and patently violates the US Constitution.
But such is necessary, you know, since the free individuals making choices for themselves in the marketplace and businesses competing to satisfy consumer demand just doesn’t work,