Wednesday, August 17, 2016

NYT Editorial Board Calls for Rearrangement of Titanic Deck Chairs

With regard to Aetna pulling out of Obamacare .........
"It is clear, however, that Congress should strengthen the marketplaces to ensure sufficient competition. For example, it could encourage more healthy people to buy insurance by extending tax credits to families that now earn too much to qualify. Many of those people find it cheaper to pay the tax penalty for not having insurance than to buy it. If more healthy people participated, more insurers would want to be on the exchanges. Congress and state governments could also consider offering a government insurance plan in rural areas and other places where there is little or no competition, as President Obama and Hillary Clinton have proposed."[NYT]

"The Affordable Care Act was passed allegedly to address three huge challenges: (1) millions of Americans lacked health insurance, (2) premiums were rapidly rising far beyond inflation and increases in wages, and (3) health care costs (Medicare and Medicaid especially) were eating up a larger and larger share of the federal budget. Today we know that despite the full implementation of the trillion-dollar ACA: (1) 33 million Americans still lack health insurance coverage, (2) premium increases still vastly outstrip economic growth, and (3) health care spending as a percentage of GDP continues to rise.* According to the NYT editorial board — the supposed cream of American journalism — the answer is for the government to throw even more money into the system by subsidizing the healthy young people whose premium payments we were promised would subsidize the otherwise uninsurable who need to consume more expensive health services. It’s like borrowing money at 8% to pay off your credit card balance which is growing at 7%, but far be it for the New York Times to figure that out."

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