Obamacare was sold to the American people on the premise that increased government control of the health insurance/health care industries would make both insurance and care cheaper and easier to access. The health care exchanges, specifically, have been touted by Democrats and other supporters of the law as being pro-consumer in that they would allow more competition among insurance offerings that, in turn, would drive down prices and drive up quality.
Unfortunately, as is almost always the case, more government regulation only makes things harder and more expensive. In a new report out today recalculating the impact of Obamacare after the Supreme Court’s recent decision, the CBO concludes that the health insurance exchanges will drive up premiums:
This afternoon the Congressional Budget Office released their re-estimate of the health care law in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, along with a new cost estimate for repealing the legislation. In sum, CBO said that the Supreme Court ruling will:
Decrease the net cost of the law by $84 billion through 2022;
Result in about 3-4 million additional individuals remaining uninsured; and
Raise premiums on the individual market by 2 percent, or about $400 per family — that comes in addition to the $2,100 per family premium increase CBO previously predicted back in 2009.
This shouldn’t be surprising. We don’t need the government to create a market for insurance. We have plenty of competition in the cell phone market without government exchanges. We have plenty of competition in the auto insurance market without government exchanges. Why would we think that a government exchange for health insurance would do anything more but bring more rigidity, more red tape and more expense to the already heavily-regulated and arduous process of buying health insurance?