Monday, March 29, 2010

Malanga: Welcome to NY, America!

Steven Malanga explains how ObamaCare will create a national-level mess, like the one that New York state has already endured.

Here's an excerpt from his 3/24/2010 piece, "Health Care Reform: Welcome to NY, America":
New York enacted a health reform package with these two mandates - known as guaranteed issue and community rating - in 1993, making it unique among the states (only five others have both mandates but none has requirements as strict as New York's). Back when the state instituted the reforms about 752,000 residents were buying health insurance directly from insurance companies in the individual market. But premiums immediately started to soar, and as residents realized they could purchase insurance at any time, even after they got sick, New York's individual health insurance market disappeared, shrinking by 95 percent all the way down to a mere 34,000 individuals. Meanwhile, the ranks of the uninsured spiked to 20 percent by 1997.

New York's response to its vast increase in uninsured residents was to offer more state-subsidized insurance. When the price tag on these plans began to weigh down the state budget, New York slapped new taxes on residents and businesses to pay for them, including a new $275 million assessment against insurance companies on top of some $3 billion in assessments they already pay in the state. All of this so that the state's uninsured rolls would soar as costs spiraled upward and then declined again as government stepped in with subsidized coverage.

...In a study of New York, the Manhattan Institute estimated that the Empire State's mandates increased the cost of health premiums by a whopping 42 percent to the highest in the nation (this was before RomneyCare spiked Massachusetts' premiums even higher). The study estimated that up to 37 percent of those who were uninsured in the state could afford coverage if the state junked its expensive mandates, especially the guaranteed issue and community rating mandates...
(Read the full text of "Health Care Reform: Welcome to NY, America".)

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.