Late Friday afternoon, the Obama administration denied Gov. Steve Beshear’s request for a three year waiver from part of ObamaCare. As a result, Kentucky is even more likely to lose health insurers and the possibility of new insurers bringing more competition to Kentucky’s struggling health insurance market drops significantly.
Technically, the federal government on Friday granted Kentucky a small waiver for 2011 only. And that may temporarily lessen a tiny portion of the negative effects of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but the point not to miss is that Beshear’s Department of Insurance made clear in their request that they understood the biggest part of what is wrong with ObamaCare. Unfortunately, they didn’t even try to do anything about it.
In their request documents, the Kentucky Department of Insurance repeatedly referenced Kentucky’s disastrous 1990’s flirtation with socialized medicine in which the state required insurers to accept all applicants and charge the same premium regardless of any health problems. “Guaranteed issue” coverage destroyed Kentucky’s health insurance market two decades ago and it is the worst feature of the ObamaCare law coming in 2014.
Willful blindness among Frankfort Democrats to the problems with ObamaCare can’t be too surprising. But Frankfort Republicans have joined in too often by supporting health insurance coverage mandates to score political points. Their efforts combined have weakened market forces that would otherwise work to lower costs and improve quality.
The Friday afternoon release of this information was calculated to limit discussion of these critical issues. Please forward this message as widely as you can.