ObamaCare: Insurers Need Permission to Survive; Citizens, to Live

This is the provocative title of Dr. Paul Hsieh’s recent article in Pajamas Media. It begins:

Suppose our government declared that everyone had the “right” to a nice steak dinner. The government would require restaurants to sell $50 steak dinners to all comers. But to keep prices affordable, restaurants could only charge $25. No restaurant could survive long under such a scheme, and most Americans would be outraged at such a blatant violation of restaurant owners’ rights.

But that is exactly what is happening with health insurance in Massachusetts. Events unfolding now in the Bay State should serve as a warning to the rest of America of the danger ObamaCare poses to our health insurance, our health care — and ultimately our lives. …

However, insurers are not allowed to set prices based on market conditions, but must instead petition the state for rate increases.

Recently, the Massachusetts state insurance commissioner rejected 235 of 274 requested rate increases.

Insurers filed suit against the state, arguing that without these rate increases they would be forced to sell their services at a loss. The state then “delisted” the complaining insurers from the government-run exchange where residents purchase plans. Under government pressure, at least two insurers then agreed to resume sales under the old prices.

Insurance companies in Massachusetts are thus required to offer numerous benefits as determined by politicians and lobbyists, but they may only charge what government bureaucrats permit. It would be akin to the government requiring restaurants to sell $50 steak dinners, but only allowing them to charge $25.

Read the whole article: ObamaCare: Insurers Need Permission to Survive; Citizens, to Live.

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2 Comments

Filed under physicians & medical quality

2 responses to “ObamaCare: Insurers Need Permission to Survive; Citizens, to Live

  1. Dennis Byron

    Good article about what is happening here in Massachusetts but a couple of clarifications are needed so your readers can understand:
    — The insurers were not just delisted from the government exchange, which is just an insurance brokerage, but could not sell their plans through any brokerage at the 2010 prices (thousands of us were therefore unable to buy insurance and many were without insurance because the state bureacracy made the decision on the first day of the new rates, not months before the way you would think it would be done)
    — Very few people “buy” insurance from the exchange (about 20,000 out of the 5.5 million people insured in Massachusetts); about 80,000 get it for “free”; the whole exchange concept is a collosal failure with all the political payoffs etc. you would expect in Massachusetts

  2. Dennis Byron

    Good article about what is happening here in Massachusetts but a couple of clarifications are needed so your readers can understand:– The insurers were not just delisted from the government exchange, which is just an insurance brokerage, but could not sell their plans through any brokerage at the 2010 prices (thousands of us were therefore unable to buy insurance and many were without insurance because the state bureacracy made the decision on the first day of the new rates, not months before the way you would think it would be done)– Very few people “buy” insurance from the exchange (about 20,000 out of the 5.5 million people insured in Massachusetts); about 80,000 get it for “free”; the whole exchange concept is a collosal failure with all the political payoffs etc. you would expect in Massachusetts

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