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.