Why are health premiums stabilizing or falling in 2019?

Dean Olsen of Springfield, Illinois's State Journal-Register has written an informative article that discusses why health premiums on the Illinois health insurance exchanges are stabilizing and even decreasing.  Here it is.

He quotes state government officials as saying the reductions and more modest increases in these premiums appear to be the result of health insurance-providers becoming more experienced and comfortable with the cost of insuring people.  Kid you not, here's what he found in his reporting:

State officials said the reductions and more-modest increases appeared to result from health-insurance providers becoming more experienced and comfortable with estimating the true costs of insuring people – many of whom used to be uninsured – through the state's health-insurance exchange.

That certainly appears to be a made-up reason, as if those guys had no idea how to run their insurance businesses until this year because they were just now getting the hang. 

For starters, if that were actually the cause, insurance prices would have stabilized much sooner than nine years after Obamacare passed.

The much more likely and obvious reason that health care insurance prices have all of a sudden decreased or stabilized in 2019 is that the individual mandate is no longer the law.

Now that individuals are not forced to buy insurance policies that don't serve their needs and have more choices as to what to buy – off-market exchanges, short-term plans, and other arrangements, without the fear of paying a big fine – the big insurance companies no longer have a captive audience to force people to pay whatever increases are forced down their throats.  Competition and choice are a wonderful thing.  It is not a coincidence that health premiums continuously skyrocketed under the massive mandates of Obamacare.  It's also not a coincidence that they are looking better in 2019, when the mandate disappears (hopefully for good).

When the Democrats, in conjunction with the media, were demonizing President Trump and Republicans as they were trying to pass the tax cuts and get rid of the mandate, we were told there would be fewer choices, and premiums were going to skyrocket, causing millions to lose insurance coverage.  We were also told Republicans would lose in 2018 if the mandate disappeared.  If  "the reductions and more modest increases appear to be the result from health insurance providers becoming more experienced and comfortable with the cost of insuring people," why didn't the CBO, Democrats, and other bureaucrats predict the stabilizing prices?  (The answer is obviously that accurate predictions would not have fit the agenda.)

This is from the N.Y. Times in October 2017:

The twin hits to the Affordable Care Act could unravel President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, sending insurance premiums soaring and insurance companies fleeing from the health law's online marketplaces.  After Republicans failed to repeal the health law in Congress, Mr. Trump appears determined to dismantle it on his own. 

It's obviously wrong.

Here are a few economic hints: 

  • The more economic choice consumers and businesses have, the more likely that prices will be more competitive.  Taxes and regulation kill that dynamic as government overarches its own role.
  • The economy always grows faster if individuals and businesses are allowed to keep more of the money they earn to spread throughout the private sector compared to handing a greater and greater share to a greedy and powerful government.
  • Capitalism is the greatest anti-poverty program that has ever existed, and capitalism is what made the U.S. the greatest economic powerhouse in 240 years.  Socialism and big government have never been the best economic model for the people.  Socialism holds people down instead of lifting them up.

It would be nice if more media outlets ran good news stories on health premiums and the economy (there are a large number of stories that could be reported) instead of running continual unverified and anonymous stories seeking to destroy Trump, anyone he associates with, and Republicans in order to elect Democrats and move closer to socialism.

Anyway, sending thanks to Mr. Olsen for writing the informative article.

Dean Olsen of Springfield, Illinois's State Journal-Register has written an informative article that discusses why health premiums on the Illinois health insurance exchanges are stabilizing and even decreasing.  Here it is.

He quotes state government officials as saying the reductions and more modest increases in these premiums appear to be the result of health insurance-providers becoming more experienced and comfortable with the cost of insuring people.  Kid you not, here's what he found in his reporting:

State officials said the reductions and more-modest increases appeared to result from health-insurance providers becoming more experienced and comfortable with estimating the true costs of insuring people – many of whom used to be uninsured – through the state's health-insurance exchange.

That certainly appears to be a made-up reason, as if those guys had no idea how to run their insurance businesses until this year because they were just now getting the hang. 

For starters, if that were actually the cause, insurance prices would have stabilized much sooner than nine years after Obamacare passed.

The much more likely and obvious reason that health care insurance prices have all of a sudden decreased or stabilized in 2019 is that the individual mandate is no longer the law.

Now that individuals are not forced to buy insurance policies that don't serve their needs and have more choices as to what to buy – off-market exchanges, short-term plans, and other arrangements, without the fear of paying a big fine – the big insurance companies no longer have a captive audience to force people to pay whatever increases are forced down their throats.  Competition and choice are a wonderful thing.  It is not a coincidence that health premiums continuously skyrocketed under the massive mandates of Obamacare.  It's also not a coincidence that they are looking better in 2019, when the mandate disappears (hopefully for good).

When the Democrats, in conjunction with the media, were demonizing President Trump and Republicans as they were trying to pass the tax cuts and get rid of the mandate, we were told there would be fewer choices, and premiums were going to skyrocket, causing millions to lose insurance coverage.  We were also told Republicans would lose in 2018 if the mandate disappeared.  If  "the reductions and more modest increases appear to be the result from health insurance providers becoming more experienced and comfortable with the cost of insuring people," why didn't the CBO, Democrats, and other bureaucrats predict the stabilizing prices?  (The answer is obviously that accurate predictions would not have fit the agenda.)

This is from the N.Y. Times in October 2017:

The twin hits to the Affordable Care Act could unravel President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, sending insurance premiums soaring and insurance companies fleeing from the health law's online marketplaces.  After Republicans failed to repeal the health law in Congress, Mr. Trump appears determined to dismantle it on his own. 

It's obviously wrong.

Here are a few economic hints: 

  • The more economic choice consumers and businesses have, the more likely that prices will be more competitive.  Taxes and regulation kill that dynamic as government overarches its own role.
  • The economy always grows faster if individuals and businesses are allowed to keep more of the money they earn to spread throughout the private sector compared to handing a greater and greater share to a greedy and powerful government.
  • Capitalism is the greatest anti-poverty program that has ever existed, and capitalism is what made the U.S. the greatest economic powerhouse in 240 years.  Socialism and big government have never been the best economic model for the people.  Socialism holds people down instead of lifting them up.

It would be nice if more media outlets ran good news stories on health premiums and the economy (there are a large number of stories that could be reported) instead of running continual unverified and anonymous stories seeking to destroy Trump, anyone he associates with, and Republicans in order to elect Democrats and move closer to socialism.

Anyway, sending thanks to Mr. Olsen for writing the informative article.