Wednesday, March 09, 2011

About that Obama Care Waiver for the Entire State of Maine

Look, I like the state of Maine, I really do. The folks from Maine that I have met are a good lot, and anyone who regularly deals with that crap weather the get a lot of deserves some respect. But Maine got a golden ticket from the Obama Care mandates when the entire state got a waiver. As John Hayward points out:
Since society as a whole benefits from universal access to the “basic human right” of health care, the Left thinks it’s fair to total up the cost and spread it across the entire population.

But now we’ve got over a thousand waivers to ObamaCare, including one that applies to an entire state. Everyone is not paying for government-run health insurance, at least not equally. Some corporate and union entities are granted permission to step outside the system. What kind of “universal” solution doesn’t apply to everyone?

From long ago, there was an engineering principle that boiled down to this: Better, Faster, Cheaper--choose any two. You generally cannot create something new that encompasses all three features. You can choose two unless you are willing to compromise on all three.

With health care there is a triumvirate of features as well: Universal, Comprehensive, Affordable--choose only two. The problem with universal health care (if that indeed is the goal of Obama Care--which it won't accomplish by the way) is that if you want it truly universal--you can only have one of the other two features. If ObamaCare was intended to be affordable by forcing everyone to pay--how does the notion of waivers play into that plan. It is clear that not everyone will be subject to the rules, including the entire state of Maine. Hayward is right--it can't be universal if it doesn't apply to everyone.

But the key fact to look at is the reason why Maine needed a waiver: the state has only three insurance companies that market individual plans and if required to comply with Obama Care, one of those companies might leave the market--not will--might. And that assumes that no other company will come into the market.

Waivers are being granted on mere speculation and self-serving statements. I have no doubt that insurance companies are going to close--there might not be a way for them to make money under the Obama Care scheme. But the reason for them going out of business is created by the very government granting the waivers. The regulatory structure of mandates and coverage requirements makes it impossible for insurance companies to make money and why is a company in business if not to make money?

But a larger concern is beginning to creep in: what if the general rule of Obama Care is swallowed by the growing list of exceptions. Where will it lead? Is it good policy to have a rule or law that is so riddled with exceptions that the structure of the law can no longer stand under its own weight?
Check out my soccer blog at Nutmegs and Stepovers

No comments: