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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Obamacare: Biggest Issue is Monopoly Power

Obamacare:  I have no interest in the political rhetoric.   Yes, the website sucks now.  Yes, Obama either did not know or knowingly lied about the effect of millions of Americans losing their coverage.   Equally however, there are some obvious positives of the legislation which have little to do with the IT, and have much to do with millions more Americans that will now have access to care they never had access before.   At the end of the day, only time will tell if the policy is a success or failure.

My big concern is something that has been known since the beginning and that is, Obamacare does nothing to erode the existing monopolies of health insurance in many states.  The biggest issue with Obamacare in my view remains the fact that the so-called marketplace doesn't really create a true market.  The fact is, plans cannot be bought and sold across jurisdictional lines.  Obamacare may actually serve to simply consolidate monopoly or oligopoly power - which may in fact keep prices higher than they otherwise should be.   The ironic thing is that we probably would be better off if the government just created its own monopoly power and moved us to a single-payer system.   That way, the government could have more control over prices.  Under this private monopoly system though, that can't happen.  I, living in Marion, Co. Indiana cannot buy a plan from an insurer in Illinois that may offer cheap rates.   What choices do people like me in Indiana have:  not much of one.    "Would you like Anthem, Anthem, or Anthem?"

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