Sunday, April 18, 2010

NY: Healthcare Reform Drives Up Premiums, Creates Massive Deficits

In an astonishingly honest article yesterday, the New York Times admits that the policy in the Democrat Health Care Reform Bill making it illegal for insurance companies to "discriminate" against people with preexisting conditions who have not paid into the system has been going on in New York since 1993, with disastrous results.
New York’s insurance system has been a working laboratory for the core provision of the new federal health care law — insurance even for those who are already sick and facing huge medical bills — and an expensive lesson in unplanned consequences. Premiums for individual and small group policies have risen so high that state officials and patients’ advocates say that New York’s extensive insurance safety net for people like Ms. Welles is falling apart.[...]

In 1993, motivated by stories of suffering AIDS patients, the state became one of the first to require insurers to extend individual or small group coverage to anyone with pre-existing illnesses.

New York also became one of the few states that require insurers within each region of the state to charge the same rates for the same benefits, regardless of whether people are old or young, male or female, smokers or nonsmokers, high risk or low risk.

Healthy people, in effect, began to subsidize people who needed more health care. The healthier customers soon discovered that the high premiums were not worth it and dropped out of the plans. The pool of insured people shrank to the point where many of them had high health care needs. Without healthier people to spread the risk, their premiums skyrocketed, a phenomenon known in the trade as the “adverse selection death spiral.”

“You have a mandate that’s accessible in theory, but not in practice, because it’s too expensive,” said Mark P. Scherzer, a consumer lawyer and counsel to New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage, an advocacy group. “What you get left clinging to the life raft is the population that tends to have pretty high health needs.”

Since 2001, the number of people who bought comprehensive individual policies through HMOs in New York has plummeted to about 31,000 from about 128,000, according to the State Insurance Department.

At the same time, New York has the highest average annual premiums for individual policies: $6,630 for single people and $13,296 for families in mid-2009, more than double the nationwide average, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry group.

The Democrats, have tried to prevent this from happening on a national level by forcing the well people to buy health insurance and redistributing their premiums to pay for the sick and belatedly paying people. But since they are not trying that hard to enforce this (either because they are afraid of the people revolting or because they want the system to fail: take your pick), our nation is headed down the same path of higher premiums, national debt, health care rationing and ultimately socialized medicine.

2 comments:

  1. Can you imaging if car insurance was allowed to work like this? Buy insurance as soon as you're in an accident, get your car fixed and everybody paid off, then cancel it til the next time you need it. Then you wonder why they want to raise premiums.
    The other problem with this is that it doesn't end up saving the money you expected. When the insurance company is actually the government and it's funded by taxpayers, you just end up paying the amount through higher taxes rather than premiums. Unless of course the rich are paying your share.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Anonymous
    ...in which case you end up paying for it through wage cuts and higher prices. Do Democrats seriously think that they can rob the rich and not have it affect everyone else?

    Poor people don't hire anyone. Poor people don't sell you cars, and houses and just about anything. Lower class people should love the rich because they are the ones who eat at restaurants, stay at hotels, build houses that give us all jobs and money to buy things.

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget