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Effects of new health law are increasingly arbitrary

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: July 8, 2013
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The young and healthy will see higher prices because of Obamacare-mandated cost-shifting from those with serious health problems. Of course, all insurance is designed to spread costs among many, but people expected to have high health care utilization typically pay more than those with lesser need — just as those with multiple accidents pay higher auto insurance rates than drivers with spotless records. Obamacare flips this practice on its head. It's like fining families who rarely drive toll roads to cut rates for overloaded trucks flying down the highway.

In Virginia, the Journal found a healthy 40-year-old nonsmoker can currently get insurance for $63 per month, but will pay at least $193 under Obamacare. Federal subsidies will cover the cost for some. But a Virginian earning more than $33,150 won't get subsidies. He'll have to pay higher insurance prices (or face a fine) and also pay taxes to cover the cost of other citizens' now higher-priced, subsidized coverage.

Under Obamacare, workers face financial penalties even as similar fines are declared too punitive for businesses, the health needs of those living in poverty are made a lower priority than those with higher incomes, and health-conscious citizens may be financially penalized so a perpetually drunk neighbor can obtain lower insurance rates.

Obamacare has always been unworkable. But now its effects are increasingly arbitrary as well.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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