A wise man once quipped, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”
With the dawn of Obamacare, no truer warning has gone so catastrophically unheeded, and now American families are being made to pay the price – literally.
The latest example of this all-too predictable crisis comes by way of the largest insurer in the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, which was forced to raise rates by an average of 28-percent this year because of Obamacare. Executives recently said that, after all the counting is done, the company might have lost $135 million in 2015.
So, if you think rates skyrocketed this year, wait until you see what they’ll be when insurers have to make up those losses.
But wait a second. Didn’t the president promise that his massive healthcare scheme – ironically called the Affordable Care Act – would “bend the cost curve” downward? We’ve seen nothing of the sort, of course. Working Americans are instead seeing their premiums rise, their deductibles increase, and their out-of-pocket costs take, well, everything out of their pockets.
So what’s the matter? Fundamentally, the insurance system has been turned completely on its head, and much of the increased costs come from Obamacare’s mandate that insurance companies offer regularly priced plans to those with expensive pre-existing conditions.
“Beginning in 2014, ACA eliminated health underwriting and waiting periods for pre-existing conditions allowing individuals to buy healthcare coverage regardless of their health condition,” read a statement from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, explaining the reasons for their multi-million dollar loss. “Company data indicates that many of our new individual ACA customers have used an extensive amount of medical services, which is causing total claims paid and their related operating expenses to exceed premiums.”
Translation: Chronically sick people have higher medical bills, and when they pay the same for insurance as healthy people, the insurance company’s profit margin vanishes.
That may be a bit of welcome news to those who still cling to the Marxist view of a zero-sum economy, in which whatever is bad for big corporations must be good for the little guy (even though many “little guy” jobs are being eliminated as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama attempts to cut costs). This probably matters little to those who think that there shouldn’t be any profit in that sector at all.
“The profit in the health insurance industry is the single greatest barrier to building an efficient, sustainable system of health care in this country,” wrote Dr. Sachin Shah on the website for Doctors for America. “These companies are morally bankrupt parasites that threaten to financially bankrupt our health care system.”
No profit for insurance companies today, and perhaps none for doctors and nurses tomorrow. Actually, when one thinks in such a fashion, the list of professions and businesses that should be working for the good of the state is potentially endless.
What advocates of Obamacare fail to realize, or refuse to acknowledge, is that when the government forces a business to increase its costs – and especially if the law requires citizens to buy their product, as Obamacare does – its shareholders and executives won’t absorb any financial losses. The consequences are passed along to the customer, in terms of both increased unit costs and decreased product quality.
In short, we’re paying more for less, and everyone knows it.
So what does the left say in the face of the incontrovertible evidence that Obamacare has failed? What they always say: that government either didn’t regulate enough or spend enough, and at any rate it would have been worse had the government not gotten involved. Which logically leads to their next solution – more regulation, more spending, and more government control.
And who knows? If our insurance sector goes into the premium/payout death spiral that some predict, and our healthcare sector is left in a bureaucratic wasteland, they just might get their wish. Some believe that’s part of their grand strategy anyway.
The only question that remains is will there be anyone in the White House and Congress to stop them?
Oh how I wish there was an insurance plan for that.