In the 1990s, mainly when Brerton Jones was Kentucky governor and the legislature was solidly democrat-controlled, he and the lawmakers decided to tell the healthcare insurance providers what they would cover. Since citizens were lawfully unable to contact out-of-state insurers they were trapped.
The providers were in business to show profits to their shareholders, not necessarily keep everyone well. The actuaries discovered in various stages that such profits—at least under the current premium costs—would not be possible. There were about 46 of these companies and they began shutting down business in Kentucky. They simply left the state one-by-one until there was only one (maybe two) insurers left.
The guv and lawmakers discovered they could not demand business to do certain things. So, without competition among insurers, the citizens had no alternatives. The elected representatives might have attempted a sort of socialized system such as that enacted in Massachusetts later, but they didn’t…maybe too gun-shy account the public outrage.
Flash forward! The president’s lackeys rolled out a healthcare bill and the democrat-controlled Congress, without even reading the humongous volume of words and terms and references to other laws with which they were totally unfamiliar, enacted it on a technicality in the Senate that was probably unlawful.
Congress enacted into law exactly what insurance providers would cover in all policies. Rather than just “leave the state” (or nation), providers merely started canceling policies, Kentucky-like. Under the premium remittances, they could not pay claims and make a profit.
The president has promised in speeches for years that this would not happen, i.e., that policy-holders satisfied with their plans and doctors would not lose either, knowing full well all the time that it would happen. If he didn’t know that simple truth, one can judge his competence. He committed fraud. In the process he continually lied, but not under oath (by teleprompter), so he continues to speechify but on a different basis.
Caught in the lie, Obama’s strategy now, as spouted by his bureaucrats, is that insurance companies are to blame because they didn’t tailor their policies according to law, thus immediately raising premiums. Obama feels that he and the Congress (actually the czars) can legislate insurance provisions, notwithstanding the outrageous personal cost-increases that the appropriate adjustments will incur. The policy-losers are forced to hunt for new insurance they can hopefully afford (realizing outrageous deductibles), though some might get government subsidies to help with increases.
The subsidies will not likely be of much help. They will also be taken from the budget that’s already trillions of dollars in the red. The next demand, when the problem becomes more full-blown, will be for tax increases on everyone. The catch: Just under half of households in the U.S. pay NO taxes, so the half that works will get the bill. This kills incentive and, of course, jobs.
The president – or somebody – decided that the provision requiring businesses with at least 50 fulltime employees to insure everyone in January 2014 was a bad one and somehow changed the date to January 2015 without Congressional approval. Businesses are already in the process of putting employees on less than 30 hours a week to dodge that law, creating a part-time uninsured work force. The unions (Obama’s water-carriers) have discovered that their plans are in jeopardy and are demanding to be exempted from Obamacare, just another of many exemptions, among them the lawmakers and their staffs. The hoi polloi can eat cake.
HHS Chairman Sibelius said in the Thursday House-hearing that this is not socialized medicine since it deals in insurance and not government-run healthcare. It IS socialized medicine since the government is calling all the shots. The government apparently tried to handle Medicare after it was passed in 1965. In 1982, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act made it easier and more attractive for health maintenance organizations to contract with the Medicare program. Claims pass through insurance companies now, not the government.
On that basis, one can only wonder how fouled-up Obamacare will be in very short order, not even able in three years to construct a web-site to handle applications and creating a system costing tens of millions requiring “negotiators” to guide the great unwashed through it…25 minutes for an individual and 45 for a family.
And so it goes.