Monday, June 14, 2010

Hate to Say I Told You So, But I Told You So

ObamaCare threatens your health plan:
Late last week saw the first leaks of the administration's draft regulations for imple menting the ObamaCare law -- and everything is playing out just as the critics warned.

The 3,000-odd pages of legislation left most of the really important (and controversial) policy decisions to the regulations that government agencies were told to issue once the bill passed. Now that those regs are starting to take shape, it's clear that the Obama team is using its new power to exert tight control over the payment and delivery of all formerly "private" health insurance.

The ObamaCare law references the Secretary of Health and Human Services almost 2,200 times and uses the phrase "the secretary shall" more than 725. Each reference requires HHS to set new rules on medical care, giving control to an existing federal office or one of 160 new agencies that the bill created.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (who was once the Kansas state-insurance commissioner) has taken to these tasks with zeal. In some circles, she's now known as the nation's "insurance regulator in chief."

She's starting off by applying new regs to health plans offered by large employers -- even though these costly rules were supposedly only going to apply to plans sold in the state insurance "exchanges" that don't get created until 2014. This twist is spelled out in an 83-page draft of a new regulation that leaked late last week.

Bottom line: Sebelius means to dictate what your insurance plan must look like almost from day one, no matter how you get your coverage.
Next bottom line: first comes regulation then comes rationing. It is as inevitable as the sun rising in the east. Regulations cost money, when plans start costing more, the government will respond with price controls. Price controls won't lower the actual costs (just the price paid) and in the end the only way to stop the cost spiral is with rationing.

Told you so.

Read more:

No comments: