I told you so!

Now that President Barack Hussein Obama has been safely re-elected, the mainstream media is starting to take notice of what conservatives have said all along:

States worry about rate shock during shift to new health law

Even states that back Obama’s healthcare law worry about a jump in some insurance premiums as it takes effect.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announce conditional federal approval of the state’s plan for a health insurance exchange under the new healthcare law. Even states that back the law are worried about an initial rate jump in some premiums. (Scott Olson / Getty Images / February 18, 2013)

By Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau | February 18, 2013, 3:00 a.m.WASHINGTON — Less than a year before Americans will be required to have insurance under President Obama’s healthcare law, many of its backers are growing increasingly anxious that premiums could jump, driven up by the legislation itself.

Higher premiums could undermine a core promise of the Affordable Care Act: to make basic health protections available to all Americans for the first time. Major rate increases also threaten to cause a backlash just as the law is supposed to deliver many key benefits Obama promised when he signed it in 2010.

“The single biggest issue we face now is affordability,” said Jill Zorn, senior program officer at the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, a consumer advocacy group that championed the new law.

Administration officials have consistently downplayed the specter of rate increases and other disruptions as millions of Americans move into overhauled insurance markets in 2014. They cite provisions in the law that they say will hold down premiums, including new competitive markets they believe will make insurers offer competitive rates.

Exactly how high the premiums may go won’t be known until later this year. But already, officials in states that support the law have sounded warnings that some people — mostly those who are young and do not receive coverage through their work — may see considerably higher prices than expected.

More at the link. But let your Editor correct the last line: “some people — mostly those who are young and do not receive coverage through their work — may see considerably higher prices than the supporters of the law expected.” Conservatives have said all along that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was wholly misnamed, was deceptively named, was deliberately falsely named.

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what would happen: you can’t add thirty to forty million people who couldn’t afford insurance previously to the insurance rolls, you couldn’t impose regulations prohibiting the standard insurance cost-cutting measures such as lifetime limits on coverage and denial of insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions, and not add to the costs of providing insurance. You couldn’t require insurance companies to continue to cover family members for longer periods of time — the 18 to 26 year olds — without adding costs to the insurance companies. Insurance costs more because it has to cost more.

The supporters of ObaminableCare made the conservative-sounding argument that the addition of thirty to forty million new customers would lead to increased competition among insurance companies, pushing premiums lower. But it was always a specious argument, made by people who either did not or chose not to understand competition. Everything offered for sale has a limiting factor to its price: the ability of the potential buyer to choose not to buy at all, the ability of the customer to say, “I might want this, but I am unwilling to pay this much for it.” Once the customer has no choice but to buy, competition may occur between different suppliers, but there is no competition with choosing not to buy at all; look at the ridiculous rates charged for automobile insurance and ask yourself if competition has held down prices there. And when you underpin that requirement with government subsidies to buy what is otherwise beyond your ability to pay, there is little reason for insurance companies to compete at all. I’ve said it before: if a liberal really understood economics, he wouldn’t be a liberal.

However, perhaps I should give at least some liberals credit here: some of them really didn’t care about the economics, and some of them knew that ObaminableCare would fail. I wrote previously “the Democrats agreed to some compromises that they knew wouldn’t work, to get the last few conservative Democrats to go along with it, to simply establish the precedent that the federal government is ultimately responsible for paying for everybody’s health care. Then, when this abomination fails, the only remaining option will be single-payer; a return to the system as it was in 2008 won’t be an option.”

Of course, single-payer has its problems as well.

Well, we elected Barack Hussein Obama, and then, after a record rife with failure, we re-elected him, so it’s difficult to argue that we don’t actually deserve what we have gotten. For those people who supported our President, when they start seeing their health insurance premiums rise and rise and rise, they will have become the victims of karmic justice. And when they complain, we conservatives will say, “We told you so!”
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