The PJ Tatler

NYT: Obamacare Disproportionately Hurts Poor, Rural Americans

Obamacare’s failures: Far more than a mere glitch.

As technical failures bedevil the rollout of President Obama’s health care law, evidence is emerging that one of the program’s loftiest goals — to encourage competition among insurers in an effort to keep costs low — is falling short for many rural Americans.

While competition is intense in many populous regions, rural areas and small towns have far fewer carriers offering plans in the law’s online exchanges. Those places, many of them poor, are being asked to choose from some of the highest-priced plans in the 34 states where the federal government is running the health insurance marketplaces, a review by The New York Times has found.

Of the roughly 2,500 counties served by the federal exchanges, more than half, or 58 percent, have plans offered by just one or two insurance carriers, according to an analysis by The Times of county-level data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. In about 530 counties, only a single insurer is participating.

One sensible way government could have brought insurance prices down was to allow competition across state lines. Obamacare does the opposite of that, and isn’t even really allowing competition across county lines in some areas. That’s how economically stupid Obamacare is.

But the New York Times still doesn’t get it.

The analysis suggests that the ambitions of the Affordable Care Act to increase competition have unfolded unevenly…

Obamacare wasn’t intended to increase competition. Never. It was intended to force millions of Americans and all insurance companies to behave according to Barack Obama and the far left’s notion of “fairness.” Obamacare was built to limit the number of plans available and force insurance companies to act against their own economic interests, in the name of “fairness.” It was built to force millions of healthy young Americans at the dawn of their careers to subsidize older, less healthy Americans.

Barack Obama has promoted his vision of “fairness” during his entire political life. It’s not a secret or anything cooked up by his critics. His vision of “fairness” is to force some Americans to subsidize the lives and lifestyles of other Americans. In a “fair” world by Obama’s lights, there’s a point at which you have made too much money, and should be forced by the government to give your excess away to someone else. Obama and/or his appointees will determine what that tipping point is, and to whom your money will be distributed. He has been very consistent about that. He even explained it during the 2008 presidential debates. How could the Times have missed it?

See how he responds to the Times’ analysis:

The Obama administration, while not disputing the findings, responded to the analysis in a statement that the marketplaces “allow insurers to compete for customers based on price and quality.” It added that the tax-credit subsidies that will lower monthly payments for many consumers had also “brought more companies to the market, resulting in increased options for consumers and lower-than-expected premiums.”

The subsidies are taxpayer-funded, so while they may “lower” some people’s premiums, that comes at the price of hiking other Americans’ taxes. This is redistribution of real money from some Americans to others. In the name of “fairness.” How it’s fair to the people who pay the tax, is never addressed.

The Times also never gets at one of the more devious possibilities here — that rural America tends to vote Republican, and that Obamacare may have been designed to punish Obama’s enemies. He has been open about that attitude, too.

That said, I guess I’ll be the optimist and praise the Times for writing the story at all. The New York Times is one of the very few newspapers that Barack Obama admits to reading. Maybe even he’ll see the story. It won’t change his mind about “fairness,” but it might worry him that he’s even losing the New York Times as his signature policy burns up hotter than the Hindenburg.