NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Repeal and Replace: Health Reform Law Turns One

March 24, 2011

On yesterday's first anniversary of the president signing the health reform bill into law, Investor's Business Daily featured an editorial coauthored by National Center for Policy Analysis President and CEO John C. Goodman, former House speaker Newt Gingrich and James C. Capretta, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.  It reflects their one-year assessment of the health reform law:

  • Ever-more-costly mandate: The health reform law will force Americans to buy insurance whose premiums will rise at twice the rate of their incomes.
  • Bizarre system of subsidies: Depending on where insurance is bought, the subsidies for individuals are radically different, a cost factor so large it will force a major reorganization of American business.
  • Perverse incentives for insurers: Health plans will try to attract the healthy and avoid the sick; and after enrollment, they will overprovide to the healthy and underprovide to the sick.
  • Perverse incentives for people buying insurance: With small (and maybe unenforced fines), people will have an incentive to wait until they are sick to buy insurance, and then drop coverage after their medical bills are paid.
  • Tattered safety net: With 32 million newly insured, and more generous coverage for almost everyone else, there will be a huge increase in the demand for care; but the legislation has no provisions to increase supply.  The result: increased waiting times at the emergency rooms and in doctors' offices -- with those whose plans pay below market being pushed to the rear of the waiting lines.
  • Benefits cuts for seniors: Deep Medicare cuts will make it increasingly hard for seniors to find doctors to treat them and facilities who will admit them.

Source: John C. Goodman, "Repeal and Replace," John Goodman's Health Policy Blog, March 23, 2011.

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