Thursday, December 19, 2013

First Obamacare, Then A Single-Payer System

In this article noted economist Dr. Peter Morici writes an economical step-by-step as to how Obamacare will progress once implemented.  His chronology paraphrases as this:
  1. Smaller businesses and healthy young people are seeing premiums jump -- sometimes by 300%.
  2. The former are finding it cheaper to drop plans for full-time employees and pay a penalty starting in 2015.
  3. Many healthy young people will calculate it is better to forego coverage and pay a modest penalty -- after all a 30-year old earning $50,000 really can't easily afford $4,000 for insurance, making a $500 penalty appear modest. 
  4. Even some middle-income families will find similar math compelling.
  5. That will leave health insurance exchanges with too many sick people and too few healthy ones, which will drive up premiums further.
  6. This will compel more businesses and individuals to forgo insurance
  7. This creates enormous political pressure to increase federal insurance subsidies for low- and middle-income individuals and families.
  8. Medicare's actuaries expect annual health costs per person, across the entire population, to rise from about $9,216 in 2013 to about $14,700 in 2022. That's about 20% of gross domestic product, whereas Germany spends about 12% and Britain even less.
  9. Large U.S. multinational companies will find providing most employees with insurance too expensive if they are to compete in global markets, and they will dump their employees into subsidized public exchanges.
  10. Too many voters will depend on federal subsidies or Medicaid and simply won't vote to give up those entitlements.
  11. The federal government will announce that it could probably pay doctors, drug companies and device manufactures pretty reasonably directly, and without the insurance company middlemen, through an American National Health Service.

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