ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Here are the states where "the magic of the marketplace" will fail most spectacularly
Remember, one idea behind ObamaCare is that savvy health care consumers will seek out the cheapest and/or best kidney transplants or slings for their broken arms because magic marketplace. And transparency! This theory is also called "patient empowerment," blaming the victim, the privatization of public health, and #FAIL.. Another idea behind ObamaCare is that health insurance companies will compete on the health exchanges to offer the best polices and/or the lowest prices instead of colluding to bankrupt the hapless
patient consumer, again because magic marketplace. Of course, ObamaCare is implemented state by state, so that this theory won't work in states where there are monopolies. So how many of those states are there?
[E]ven some stalwart supporters of the Affordable Care Act worry that in many states, people won’t have a lot of health insurance choices when the exchanges launch in October.
Health economists predict that in states that already have robust competition among insurance companies—states such as Colorado, Minnesota and Oregon -- the exchanges are likely to stimulate more. But according to Linda Blumberg of the Urban Institute, "There are still going to be states with virtual monopolies." Currently Alabama, Hawaii, Michigan, Delaware, Alaska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Wyoming and Nebraska all are dominated by a single insurance company. The advent of the exchanges is unlikely to change that, according to Blumberg.
So, in those -- one moment, I have to count -- ten states with insurance monopolies, the health exchanges aren't going to have the "choice" ObamaCare was supposed to provide. So, if you live there, no magic marketplace for you, Mr. or Mrs. Second Class Citizen!
Now, I'm sure some ObamaCare apologist can point to some bell or whistle, some clause in the regulations that's supposed to ameliorate this. Yeah, whatever. Let's focus on the ethical issue:
Because of the luck of the draw -- simply where they happen to live -- some United States citizens are going to have differential access to health care which, let us remember, can be a matter of life and death. And that's officially enshrined in policy at the Federal level. I've heard it said that the states are the laboratories of democracy. But I've never heard it said that citizens were the lab rats of monopoly. But that's exactly what's going on here.
NOTE Note that this ethical question is raised because ObamaCare, while certainly a national, and putatively a universal, system of health care, does not (a) guarantee health care to everyone as a matter of right, and (b) seeks to preserve the health insurance companies -- who are pure rentiers, bringing no value to any of the transactions in which they engage -- and every distortion they bring to the process. Nobody can add another bell or whistle to ObamaCare, or add more cowbell, or maybe some strings to fix that. Medicare for All would treat every citizen's life as equal and guarantee care to all. ObamaCare's health exchanges, as we've seen in countless ways, cannot do that.