Skip to comments.NYT: Say, ObamaCare doesn’t really lower costs in rural areas
Posted on 10/24/2013 1:02:08 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Of course it doesnt, even though that was one of the core promises the administration and Democrats made in pushing ObamaCare on the nation. More than four years after debate began on the massive restructuring of the nations health-care market, the New York Times finally notices that the law doesnt actually address why the costs in rural areas remained so high the lack of choice and competition:
As technical failures bedevil the rollout of President Obamas health care law, evidence is emerging that one of the programs 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 laws 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.
The analysis suggests that the ambitions of the Affordable Care Act to increase competition have unfolded unevenly, at least in the early going, and have not addressed many of the factors that contribute to high prices. Insurance companies are reluctant to enter challenging new markets, experts say, because medical costs are high, dominant insurers are difficult to unseat, and powerful hospital systems resist efforts to lower rates.
Why should this surprise anyone, let alone the New York Times now? There is nothing about ObamaCare that actually increases competition, nor is it the point of the project. ObamaCare is about using the brute force of government intervention to redistribute the assets of risk pools in a politically palatable way. Thats why we have new mandates on covering pre-existing conditions, sterilization, and forcing insurers to cover children through the age of 26. All of that guarantees higher costs; those are only obfuscated by government subsidies, although not entirely.
The solution to rural costs for health insurance was one that Republicans proposed repeatedly during the debate as an alternative to government intervention allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines. Eliminating that prohibition would have at least provided the opportunity for competition and better pricing for rural Americans. That kind of market-based reform applied more broadly would have helped draw down the cost curve in a real way in other areas of the health-care industry as well. Democrats refused to consider it, and this is what we have now the worst of both worlds.
Dont expect this to get any better, either, although the NYT quotes the White House urging patience:
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.
It didnt bring more companies to markets in rural areas, obviously, and it wont in the future. Insurance companies will have fewer resources in the future to set up shop in places like Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas, and so on because of the cost pressure on their existing risk pools. In fact, theyre more likely to leave those areas than expand into them, especially if ObamaCare cant succeed in forcing younger and healthier Americans to pay massive premiums for comprehensive policies they dont need, with deductibles that practically ensure theyll never benefit from them.
In short, this isnt reform. Its a political stunt, and data like this shows how little reform meant to those who created it.
And rates scale to earnings. Ain’t that equitable?
ZeroCare was never about cost, choice, or even health! It was always about more control over people's lives so they would never challenge the government beast.
Huh! Maybe the 666 beast in Revelation is actually not a person, but the US government!!!!!
What a surprise.
"6 represents the worship of man, and is the number of man, signifying his rebellion, imperfection, works, and disobedience...
The number is especially significant in the book Revelation, as 666 identifies the beast. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six (Revelation 13:18).
Maybe you're right...
Rural areas. Places where people work for themselves to earn a living. So a plan to force working people, to pay for non-working people, costs more? Really! No way!
Obama and the left HATE HATE HATE “rural people”,
mostly for their independence.
Why they scoff down at the “fly-over” Country. Of which, I consider most of Alaska to be as well, althogh we do have a fair share of sponges.
Those of us out here in fly-over country have been worried about losing doctors and hospitals closing due to Obama “care.”