Wednesday, April 04, 2012

What's wrong with Obamacare

The trouble with the American federal health care law is that it requires emergency rooms to treat anyone, regardless of ability to pay, and it requires health insurance to be sold without regard to the major risk factors.

So someone can avoid insurance, and still be assured of emergency treatment if he needs it, and non-emergency treatment by buying a policy after getting sick.

The Obama plan is to fund the health care system by inducing healthy people to overpay for health insurance, and subsidize the sick. So there are various regulations that make health insurance cost healthy folks much more than it is worth, and a federal mandate to make them buy it anyway.

Sometimes it is argued that a federal plan can save money by forcing insurance companies to pay for preventive diagnostics and case. But a recent SciAm article shows that such policies have already led to over-diagnosis. Such care is not insurance.

Now the US supreme court is deciding whether the mandate is constitutional. Obama argues that the mandate is necessary to prevent freeloaders.

The real problem here is that the federal law has destroyed the insurance market. I ought to be able to insure myself against the hazards of my choice, and pay according to market estimates of my risk. I cannot do that. Under Obama, there is no insurance at all, within the meaning of insurance. Instead we have companies managing health care based on collecting fees that are similar to taxes.

Obama has effectively outlawed health insurance with all the new regulations. That is what ought to be declared unconstitutional.

No comments: