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A Glimpse into Obamacare’s Troubling Future

John on November 17, 2010 at 8:49 am

Everyone knows that Obamacare was loosely modeled on the refrom undertaken in Massachusetts. So how’s MA doing? About exactly as you’d expect. This summer the Boston Globe wrote that:

The relentlessly rising cost of health insurance is prompting some small Massachusetts companies to drop coverage for their workers and encourage them to sign up for state-subsidized care instead, a trend that, some analysts say, could eventually weigh heavily on the state’s already-stressed budget.

Unable to stop the bleeding, Massachusetts has resorted to price controls:

In February, the governor filed sweeping legislation that proposes to give the Division of Insurance the power to essentially cap health care price increases. That proposal is still pending…And on April 1, exercising authority the administration had never before used, the division denied 235 of 274 increases proposed by insurers for plans covering individuals and small businesses — base premiums would have increased as much as 32 percent. On July 1, it again held 137 proposed increases to 2009 rates.

Price controls never work in the long run. Something has to give. What will it be quality or access? Likely both. Meanwhile, the individual mandate which was supposed to pay for all of this is under attack [HT: Jay Tea at Wizbang]:

The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority is cracking down on more than 3,000 residents who are fighting state fines, and has even hired a private law firm to force the health insurance scofflaws to pay penalties of up to $2,000 a year.

All told, more than 7,700 people have appealed state fines for not having health insurance, according to connector spokesman Richard Powers. The agency has hired several private attorneys at $50 an hour to hear many of the appeals, and some 3,150 of them have been denied — and the losers told to pay up…

National watchdogs say the Bay State’s battles with cash-strapped taxpayers foreshadow troubles on the horizon for the Obama administration’s health-care plan.

Ya think?! In other news, the groups that pushed for Obamacare are now getting waivers to avoid paying more per employee. All waivers expire in 2014 when everyone will be forced to pony up.

Finally, today Congress finally gets to hear from socialist reformer Dr. Donald Berwick on why Obamacare will not lead to rationing as nationalized care does in his beloved British system. Prediction: He will lie and Democrats will pretend to believe him.

The overall picture should be clear: There’s only one way for this thing to work and that is for everyone–from insurers to individuals to businesses–to do exactly what their told by the government. If that seems counter-intuitive or unsustainable, no matter. Failure to comply will be dealt with harshly to prevent enlightened self-interest from catching on and ruining everything.

Welcome to Obamacare.

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