New Paper Destroys Obamacare Claims
President Obama likes to tout the success of the Affordable Care Act by quoting the number of Americans that are now insured, a funny verbal trick that disregards the number of Americans who were forced into paying higher premiums and losing the care they liked despite explicit presidential promises to the contrary.
At the end of the day, whethr or not the program HAS insured more people is not nearly as relevant as whether or not more Americans are receiving a higher quality of care. According to a new paper, they're not:
In a new working paper, Wharton economists Mark Pauly, Adam Levine and Scott Harrington estimate how much better or worse off the non-poor uninsured are under ObamaCare. They measure the cost of the plans, the benefits of consuming pre-paid medical care and out-of-pocket payments without obtaining coverage. They conclude that, “even under the most optimistic assumptions,” half of the formerly uninsured take on both a higher financial burden and lower welfare, and on net “average welfare for the uninsured population would be estimated to decline after the ACA if all members of that population obtained coverage.”
In other words, ObamaCare harms the people it is supposed to help. This is not a prescription for a healthy, durable program.
Markets have also been disrupted by a cascade of failures among the ObamaCare co-ops that were intended as a liberal insurance utopia. These plans were seeded with billions of dollars in federal start-up loans and were supposed to work like the credit unions or the electric collectives of the Depression era. No profits were allowed, advertising to introduce new products was restricted and industry executives were barred from management. As it turns out, attempting to outlaw expertise and incentives tends not to produce good results.
Is this likely to change people's minds? Probably not. Liberals will likely demand endless funding for this flawed model or, failing that, a total shift to a publicly managed government healthcare system. In the interim, the American taxpayer and the American health care consumer will suffer.