Megan McArdle  notes one of the badly blown predictions of ObamaCare.

There were supposed to be millions of people who were uninsurable because of pre-existing conditions.  We heard lengthy testimony about their terrible plight.  I don’t think it’s too strong to say that this fear–that you could get sick and no one would insure you, that’s right, you, Mr. & Mrs. Middle-Class Voter–was one of the main reasons offered for the health care overhaul.  It was estimated by Medicare’s Chief Actuary that around 400,000 would sign up (the CBO estimated 200,000, but only because they assumed that HHS would use its authority to limit enrollment in order to stay within the $5 billion budgeted for the program).

So how many have signed up for this badly needed program? 18,000, less than of the lower CBO estimate. So, in true government fashion, they’ve decided, not to save money, but spend it anyway, which is what governments do best.

The administration is now loosening the requirements (you just need a note from a doctor or nurse saying you’ve been sick in the last year) and lowering premiums.  But this doesn’t mean that they’re finally covering more "uninsurables"; it just means they’ve decided to use the money allocated for those people to cover someone else.  They’re changing the "high-risk pools" to something that looks a lot more like simply subsidizing insurance.  But the goal wasn’t to spend the $5 billion that HHS got in its budget; the goal was to provide insurance for people who want to buy insurance, but can’t find a company willing to write it. 

If anyone tries to argue that some government program, this one especially, will stay within its legislative boundaries, they really have no idea how governments are addicted to your money.

Filed under: EconomicsGovernmentMedicine

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!