Obamacare: Gaming The Stupid System

Ben Domenech writes a good post over at the New Ledger about how the Massachusetts health care system got gamed and Obamacare will too:

A new report from the Congressional Research Service, released to Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, details the near certainty that this situation will be gamed by the American people to an unprecedented degree – including drawing out a few fascinating points which weren’t discussed to any great detail during the legislative process. The report paints a far worse picture of the likelihood of gaming the system – rather than just those younger Americans I suggested would choose month to month liquidity over the cost of insurance, this suggests that several other groups will have incentives to game the system.


The Congressional Budget Office previously predicted that roughly 4 million Americans will skip out on the mandate, but reading this CRS report combined with the experience in Massachusetts makes me think it could be much higher than that, especially if the mandate stays at the approximately $1000 per year mark through 2016.

The end result of all this is a situation where individuals only buy coverage after they need it, knowing they’re guaranteed acceptance and will pay no penalty for it, is a system where people only buy coverage after getting sick or needing significant care, then drop it as soon as they are recuperated. The risk pool shrinks, as these “only when I need it” purchasers becoming expensive drags on their insurer, forcing raised costs for others who get care through an employer or have a chronic condition which requires regular care.

This is no surprise, really. Americans are smart. As are businesses.

Ed Morrissey touches on the subject of businesses bailing on Obamacare:

It’s not just the calculus of mandates and penalties that has employers considering the option of dumping health care and paying more in salaries instead. The mandate to keep “children” on plans until the age of 26 has employers seeing a steep cost curve. For Caterpillar alone, the 26-year-old mandate will cost over $20 million a year. Under those conditions, the penalties look pretty good. Add on the “Cadillac tax” on some health plans and the expected jump in medical costs from providers dealing with their own set of mandates, and health insurance looks like a very bad risk.

What will it cost the government to provide subsidies for tens of millions of Americans who used to get health insurance through their employers? No one really knows for sure, but Fortune takes a stab at it:

Here’s my thought:

Obama and his minions knew full well how people would try to game the system. They also know that this health care bill isn’t what they wanted. What they want is single payer. And if everyone bails on these mandates, guess what? The neo-socialists get what they wanted all along.

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