Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Twice in a Week

Someone at the New York Times gets it right. This time, it's Tyler Cowen in the October 25th edition:
Americans seem to like the idea of broadening health insurance coverage, but they may not want to be forced to buy it. With health care costs high and rising, such government mandates would make many people worse off.

The proposals now before Congress would require just about everyone to buy health insurance or to get it through their employers -- which would generally result in lower wages. In other words, millions of people would be compelled to spend lots of money on something they previously did not want, at least not at prevailing prices.

Estimates of this burden vary, but for a family of four it could range up to $14,000 a year over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Right now, many Americans take the gamble of going without insurance, just as many of us take our chances with how much we drive or how little we exercise. . .

There are now about 1,500 insurance mandates among the various states, and hundreds of others are under consideration. The dynamic at work here is that the affected groups have a big incentive to push for mandates, while most other people are unaware of the specific issues and don’t become involved.

Because mandates don’t stay modest for long, health insurance would become all the more expensive. The Obama administration’s cost estimates haven’t considered these longer-run "political economy" issues.

(via Right Wing News)

No comments: