I’ve been following the stories today about that “study” (pdf) by the insurance industry and while I understand why it’s getting so much play, I have a hard time believing why anybody would believe what they have to say about their own products becoming more expensive.
Let’s run down some reasons…
- First, if the insurance companies want insurance to become more expensive, guess what? They can make it more expensive. For any reason.
- Second, the idea that covering more people and injecting competition into the marketplace will somehow drive up prices is frankly ludicrous on its face. Especially by the totals they’re claiming ($4,000 for families and $1,500 for individuals in 10 years).
- Third, the study claims that new levies will be passed right along to consumers without taking into account the idea that behavior changes along with new fees. Or, as economist Len Nichols of New America Foundation says, “[The study] assumed the tax would have no behavioral effect, contrary to every other tax in the history of civilization.”
- Last, the AARP, hardly a partisan organization, is speaking out (from the AP): AARP Executive Vice President John Rother told reporters Monday that he doesn’t think the report is “worth the paper it’s written on.” He said if anyone believes it, that’s a problem.
So what to make of all this?
Well, today the insurance industry made the case for government run health care better than any Democrat could have.
And perhaps not in response to this report, but others are making similar observations.