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The ACA: More Expensive, Less Choice, Less Quality

obamacare

A new report on Obamacare in Missouri confirms that the law’s problems are about much more than technical glitches. When pressed, supporters of the ACA have tended to characterize the law as a simple tradeoff: some people have to pay higher premiums, but we’re all getting higher quality health care in return (which they define as lower deductibles and more benefits). But things are not working out that way.

Partnering with Kaiser Health News, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch produced a long, informative read on Obamacare’s effects on the Missouri insurance market. The piece argues that, in general, Missourians both in the exchanges and in the non-exchange market will see higher premiums and less choice:

“Deductibles are going up. Premiums are going up. (Provider) networks are getting tighter,” said Vincent Blair, a health insurance broker in Webster Groves….

Anthem[a big insurance company in the state]’s rates appear to be higher, and its provider networks are likely to be much more restrictive in terms of consumer choice, according to a federal database of insurance rates and local health insurance brokers.

Missouri is one of the red states that aren’t working very hard to implement Obamacare: it didn’t set up its own exchange, and it isn’t expanding its Medicaid program. Other states may wind up being success stories, and the ACA’s fate in bigger states like California will ultimately be more important than its fate in Missouri. But, on the other hand, Missouri might tell us something about what’s happening in the plurality of states with federal exchanges (27). In at least some of them, we can expect that many Americans will pay more and get less with the ACA.

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  • Anthony

    “Obamacare is not just creating havoc in state exchanges, It is roiling the larger private health insurance market. Costs are skyrocketing thanks to the expensive mandates, regulations and taxes buried in the Affordable Care Act.” The aforementioned appears to be general sentiment but alas, ACA aside, the selling of health care needs to become part of policy discussion – insurance pricing is complicated market and aids sellers (despite ACA); health care costs have generally risen 5 to 7 percent annually.

  • Andrew Allison

    It’s not “More Expensive, Less Choice, Less Quality”, but more expensive, less choice, and less benefits! The difference is enormous.

  • lord acton

    ACA = big government + insurance companies; who could have guessed that it would suck?

    • disqus_MHw7a2dXsU

      I for one am grateful for our overlords taking the time to show us how much they care.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    If the feedback of competition is responsible for the continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price we see in free markets, and it is. Then reducing competition to zero by putting the Government Monopoly in charge of Healthcare, will cause continuous degradation and stagnation of Quality, Service, and Price.

    Obamacare: turning an already big business damaged healthcare system, into the DMV with Death Panels.

    • A Smith

      My otherwise smart liberal friends claim that the “lack of a profit motive” is what would make government healthcare better than private. And with a straight face.

      Apparently the innovation and efficiency that comes from competition is alien to them. And these people work at large corporations.

      • disqus_MHw7a2dXsU

        The problem with liberals is that they think profit=exploitation, when in actuality profit=value added. Trying to explain to them that if you’re making a lot of profit, then you are adding lots of value is incredibly difficult.

        • Tom

          That’s a slight oversimplification. You can be exploitative and still make a profit–that’s why monopolies are a problem. However, not all profit is exploitation.

          • disqus_MHw7a2dXsU

            Monopolies were never a problem, except government monopolies. The terrible monopolies of Standard Oil and US Steels drove prices down, while improving qualities, quite the opposite of what “problems” monopolies were supposed to have had. They, also, were not monopolies, but rather dominant in their respective fields because they lowered prices and improved quality. Microsoft was demonized for providing a browser for free, for crying out loud.

            Government monopolies are wholly different, as they depend on the police state to maintain their economic position. This is one of the reasons education, at pretty much all levels, are in such shambles. The government granted telecommunications monopoly provided shaky service at high prices, which changed dramatically when that monopoly was broken.

        • Douglas Levene

          Liberals seem to think that a state-owned enterprise does not have to recover the cost of capital. Of course that’s not true; state-owned enterprises that don’t recover the cost of capital are being subsidized by the taxpayers. And that’s not even addressing the incentive problems in state-owned enterprises.

  • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

    Did they really say that DEDUCTIBLES would be lower? And overall bennies to EVERYONE greater? Man, I must have slept through those. No wonder the pissed-offedness is so broad, deep and intense.

  • bittman

    Yes, the President traveled the country to gin up support for ACA making certain promises: your healthcare costs will go down $2,500; you can keep your insurance plan; you can keep your doctor; and it will cover the 30 million uninsured Americans. These are all lies. Under the ACA or Obamacare, Americans will be paying more for their healthcare insurance and more for deductibles; many are losing their employer-sponsored healthcare for themselves and/or their spouse and children; and they cannot keep their doctors. Estimates are that ACA will create 30 million newly uninsured Americans. What a disaster for Americans — Obamacare was never about healthcare; it was solely to give the Government control over every aspect of our lives.

  • bigfire

    All is proceed as the planners expected. All of the so-call problems and glitches are features, not issue.

    • mikekelley10

      I don’t believe that. I think these clowns are doing their best. This debacle is discrediting everything they hold dear: massive government intervention in the economy and centralized planning. I am hopeful it will increase skepticism about all things government,even among the low-information crowd. Of course I am an optimist by nature.

  • bannedforselfcensorship

    California’s rates are not very good…sky high deductibles in return for a few doctor visits and your flu shot. My high deductible HSA account which is compliant actually has a lower deductible than the Bronze and Silver plans.

  • Raptor Jesus

    The democrats have blocked any kind of meaningful health care reform, no matter how small, (like allowing sales across state lines) so they could GET THIS.

    Anyone who thought for one second that turning over 1/6 of the economy to the Federal Government is BARKING MAD.

  • chiliferealty

    I’m in Illinois. To keep my plan at near the same premium level, my insurance company has offered options that a) significantly increase deductible [which was already fairly high] or b) limit coverage and less significantly increase deductible. To find a plan that has a similar coverage, network and deductible (and likely much higher premium) I will have to re-do the app process on their website.

  • Loire

    You admit that Missouri is a red, anti ACA state, and that big states like California will be more important in determining ACA’s success or failure, yet you none-the-less headline your piece that it is a failure. How open minded!

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