As the Affordable Care Act–otherwise known as ObamaCare–begins to be implemented, we are seeing its first big consequence: it is making care less affordable.
The New York Times reports that “Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.”
“Even though”? In fact, Obamacare is simply doing what a lot of people predicted it would. Critics of ObamaCare warned that it would produce precisely the kind of premium increases we are now seeing, for precisely the reasons that new reports are now citing.
I was one of those critics, and I take no joy in pointing out that we told you so.
In 2009, as ObamaCare was being crammed through Congress, I gave three reasons for predicting disaster.
The first is “guaranteed issue,” which requires insurance companies to cover you for a pre-existing condition. This forces insurance companies to take on extra costs, while reducing the incentive for healthy people to pay their insurance premiums. Why pay premiums for years, if you can just wait until you’re already sick to buy coverage? So insurers are mandated to take on extra costs while losing revenues. As I wrote back in 2009, “Rather than increasing the number of insured by making health insurance more affordable, this bill makes health insurance more expensive and increases the incentive to simply drop your insurance until you need someone to pay for your medical bills.”