Saturday, July 27, 2013

Is there nothing the ruling class won't attribute to government?

Ezra Klein gives credit to the government:

Will Obamacare Kickstart Health-Care Revolution? - Bloomberg: "In New York City, one of those insurers will be Oscar. That’s the name Kushner and his co-founders chose, hoping it would help humanize their company. “I don’t think we could do this without Obamacare,” Schlosser said. “You’d have to break into a market that’s been pretty ‘oligopolized’ with big insurers catering to brokers, agency houses and big employers. But now we have a direct connection to the consumer.”
Breeding Familiarity
The idea behind Oscar is that using your insurance should be as easy and intuitive as using your Facebook account or your Tumblr page. As Nazemi puts it, “We have a responsibility to take the friction and pain of engagement out of the process.” The experience is familiar to anyone who uses today’s leading social networks (the former head of engineering at Tumblr now works for Oscar). But for anyone who’s used the websites of Aetna or Cigna or Blue Cross Blue Shield, it’s something of a revelation."

This is absurd and sad because many people will believe this. Are Facebook and your Tumblr page easy to use and understandable because the government wrote a law making them so? No, they are user friendly because the market has selected for that trait. If they were not, they would lose business. Why is the health care market different? Why is it so complicated and user unfriendly? Because government has made it so. They have forced everyone to be in third-party payer systems and allowed states to create balkanized state markets and masses of regulation that keep new comers out of the market.

It is truly incredible that they are taking credit for bringing the convenience and clarity of most internet transactions to the health care market when they are the reason that the health care market--in contrast to all the other free markets--was prevented from having these things in the first place.

Oh, and will they succeed in bringing transparency and convenience to the health care market? Well, the fact that they have had to suspend parts of the law, including the requirement to have exchanges up and running, for another year on top of the four year lead time they had already written into the law, suggests that they will not. Of course, any problems in the implementation of the health care law will only be an argument for the even greater expansion of the government's power rather than an argument for getting the government out of the way in the first place.

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