Sunday, February 21, 2010

Health care mystery
Tom Smith

Is anybody else baffled by what is going on with the Obama Care transformative initiative?  Is there some rational method in the Reid-Pelosi-WH (?) madness?  Is it indeed at all likely that the reconciliation maneuver will work?  Are there even enough votes in the House to pass the Senate version?  My impression is that the battle has unresolved itself to a state of chaos, an unpredictable mess from which nothing good is likely to emerge.  But I confess I have gotten so weary of Health Care Reform that I just want it to go away.  I haven't been following the story as closely as I was, partly because, however, the coverage seems muddy and confusing.  Is this health care summit as ridiculous as it seems, or a demonically clever way to rope a GOP dope?  Not that you have to be that clever to get the GOP to do something stupid.

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Tom Smith


I'm interested in why Obama's health reforms should "go away." In the past year, the five largest insurers made profits of $12 billion, while Anthem Blue Cross then raises rates 39% in CA, 23% in Maine, and elsehwere: double digits by Anthem of Connecticut; Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan; Regency Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon; UnitedHealth, Tufts and Blue Cross in Rhode Island; and various health plans in Washington.

How can one say that the market working to lower costs? It some reasonable that basic regulations are enacted to prevent these dramatic increases, and force companies to meet basic social health outcomes.

Posted by: Tim Donahue | Feb 21, 2010 12:03:39 PM

If I were a health insurer I would raise rates too. They have to, since the Democrats are promising to bludgeon them into a cartelized system in which all future rate increases will be determined politically, which means kept artificially low, and since the current high level of uncertainty about the future of the system is itself a major booster of costs.

Posted by: Jonathan | Feb 21, 2010 10:25:46 PM