03.31.2010 0

Mass Insanity as the Bay State Institutes Health Insurance Rationing

  • On: 04/14/2010 10:08:58
  • In: Health Care
  • By Dave Cribbin

    If I told you a story of how one of the bluest of the blue states, Massachusetts, would of its own accord institute health insurance rationing three months after electing a Republican to the Senate to stop ObamaCare, that would normally be considered satire. That is unless the story was true, then we would just call it irony!

    Ironically, it is very true that Massachusetts, with what is essentially it’s own ObamaCare program, has started to ration health insurance. Surely that wasn’t Governor Patrick’s intent when he rejected the insurance companies’ request for premium increases. Like all politicians, he just wanted to get re-elected, and being tough on insurance companies is a very popular stance among Democrats these days.

    Nevertheless, rationing is precisely what the outcome has been. The insurance companies did what any business does when faced with a money-losing product: they declined to sell any more of that money-losing product. As a result you can’t buy health insurance in Massachusetts, even though it is against the law not to! Ain’t that a catch-22?

    This is always the result when politicians dictate how businesses must operate; they always do what is politically expedient instead of what makes economic sense. Politicians constantly prove that they are checkers players in the chess match of business, unable to see even one move ahead. As a result, they compound their initial mistakes with additional ones, as the unintended consequences of the laws they’ve just passed undo what they were supposed to have accomplished.

    The governor thought that by standing up to the greedy insurance companies he could portray himself as a hero in the fight against the high cost of health insurance. This is an awfully thin argument, considering that three of the four largest insurers in Mass are non-profits, as noted by the Wall Street Journal in a recent article.

    Those high costs, I might add, were imposed by the state on its residents when it mandated coverage for all, instituted community rating and eliminated the insurance companies’ ability to refuse coverage to people with preexisting conditions. I’m sure it came as quite a shock to him that his savvy political skills had instead of making insurance more affordable to his constituents made it unobtainable.

    After all, who could have possibly foreseen this would be the result of his actions? I’ll tell you who! Any businessman worth his salt would have seen that one coming a mile away, but that’s because they are in the business of making economic decisions, not political decisions. Business owners understand that they are in business to make a profit and those who don’t , don’t hang around all that long.

    The mass insanity that is playing out now in the Bay State is what’s in store for the rest of us if ObamaCare remains the law of the land. The government will mandate greater coverages for the insurance companies to provide while denying them the ability to recoup their cost through increased premiums.

    When insurers are prohibited from selling their products at anything but a loss they will be forced to stop selling them. It will then be time for more regulation to fix the problems the previous laws created. On it will go until it reaches it’s inevitable conclusion: the government controlling healthcare cost through the rationing of healthcare. That’s when being politically connected will literally be a matter of life or death.

    Dave Cribbin, President of Tailwind Capital, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.


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