The following post also appears on the Health Insurance Illuminated blog
Breaking News: Supreme Court upholds Obamacare in total!
The U.S Supreme Court is poised to issue its ruling on Obamacare. Regardless of the Court’s decision, lots of people are going to be upset. Unfortunately, the joy or disappointment will likely be based on a great deal of misinformation.
I have managed health care plans for several decades. I lobbied Congress about health care reform this time around and during the Clinton Administration. One thing I learned over the years, and especially over the last two years, is that many people do not understand our health care system or Obamacare.
Here are some of the key things I’ve learned about health care.
Health insurance premiums are not the problem; health care costs are.
Insurance companies don’t provide or deny health care; they help us pay for it.
More competition among insurance companies is actually counterproductive.
High cost is not high quality. Subsidizing premiums does not make health care affordable.
Adverse selection, whereby individuals can delay buying insurance until they need it, does drive up premiums for the rest of us.
Third party review of the health care we receive is more a good thing than bad.
More health care does not guarantee better health care. Our system includes incentives to provide unnecessary health care.
Denying premium increases may make some people feel good, but only delays the reckoning with costs.
Purchasing health care is very different from purchasing other services and thus market forces have a limited impact.
There are no death panels in Obamacare.
The way we take care of our own health does matter.
Health care provided to uninsured Americans is paid for by us all.
So, whether the Court gives a thumbs up or down, the truth about health care is that the problems with our system, and the costs they create, will still be with us. There is no joy in Muddville.