The problems with HealthCare.gov and the Obamacare rollout go beyond the technical glitches, says Michael Gerson. He draws on economist Friedrich Hayek, who showed why highly complex systems simply cannot be managed by centralized technocratic planners. [Read more…]
We are learning that the problems with HealthCare.gov, the website that is the portal to Obamacare health insurance, are not just due to the large number of people trying to sign on. It turns out that the website is symptomatic of government incompetence on an epic scale. [Read more…]
Nonprofit hospitals are defined as those that devote at least 3% (or in some states 4%) of their revenue to treat patients who cannot pay for treatment. Well, if Obamacare works to insure everybody, those requirements might be hard to meet, forcing the 60% of the nation’s hospitals that are non-profit to lose that status and the tax advantages that go with it.
Notice that patients without insurance WERE getting treated, and that hospitals had a strong financial incentive to treat them. (Did you know about that? Why hasn’t the charitable dimension of the old system been discussed? Might that have been improved as an alternative to changing our whole health care system for everyone?) This is another unintentional revolutionary consequence of Obamacare. After the jump, read the story from Forbes. [Read more…]
More quirks in Obamacare: The same policy from the same insurer with the same coverage costs $1,800 per month in Virginia, but it costs only $285 in adjoining Maryland. This is because Maryland mandated that all policies cover, among other things, gastric by-pass surgery for obesity. Virginia did not, requiring those interested in that surgery to pay extra for that coverage.
Presumably, insurance companies–which are not allowed to charge extra for the $15,000 operation in Maryland–are having to make up the difference when selling policies elsewhere. I suspect that liberal states will be more generous in mandating coverage, with conservative states requiring fewer services unless consumers pay for them. That will mean people in liberal states will get more comprehensive health care coverage at a lower cost than those in conservative states, which will also have to foot the bill for the liberals’ generosity! [Read more…]
We Americans tend to get suspicious of people enjoying themselves too much, especially if it involves some kind of physical crutch. Smoking was condemned as a vice even before the incontrovertible evidence of how bad it is for you. But now electronic cigarettes have been invented, little battery-operated devices that look like a cigarette but involve no burning of any tobacco, just dispensing a nicotine-laced water vapor to breathe in.
But even though there have been no studies proving them harmful, the anti-smoking forces, not content with their victory over tobacco, are trying to put restrictions on electronic cigarettes also. In Europe, on the other hand, the medical profession is lauding the devices as “infinitely less dangerous” than tobacco and far more effective than nicotine patches in helping people stop smoking. [Read more…]
Obamacare got off to an inauspicious start as the website that people were supposed to use to sign up for health insurance kept malfunctioning–not letting users sign in, throwing up error messages, and crashing users’ computers. To the point that hardly anyone has been able to sign up for the mandated insurance. Are these mere technical glitches, a bad omen, or an example of the problem with the whole program? Namely, that it is too complicated, tries to do too much, is poorly planned, and is being run by agencies that don’t realize what they are getting into.
After the jump, a discussion by Ezra Klein, who supports Obamacare, about just how bad the website is. [Read more…]