When you look around the great Golden State of California, there’s plenty to like, including our amazing weather, incredible diversity and astounding natural beauty. The federal and state governments like California too, especially when experimenting with new programs and ideas surrounding health care and health insurance. Some of these “experiments” have been ok, others have been the insurance equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster.
Back when the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land in 2011-12, I remember that business owners feared what the government’s influence in health care might do—and with good reason.
My prediction in 2012: State-run exchanges subsidizing costs for individuals and families won’t be sustainable. The reality in 2018: As of today, almost every state with exchanges is having serious difficulties keeping them afloat and keeping any subscribers once federal subsidies have decreased or run out. Here in California, our exchange is alive, but several major carriers have pulled out.
My prediction in 2012: Health care costs will continue to increase — They have. Since 2012, we’ve seen double-digit increases in almost all health care services which of course drives up insurance rates.
My prediction in 2012: It’s possible that the government’s limited presence in the health care insurance market is leading to something bigger — like a full government takeover of the system. The reality in 2018 — A major campaign platform of Gavin Newsom is a single-payer health care system (like Medicare) for all people regardless of age or even citizenship. And since California is a big laboratory for these things, it’s likely that Democrats in Washington want to see a similar full takeover style program in place nationally.
My prediction in 2018: Based on experiments in other countries and even US states, this scheme would lower the quality of care due to rationing / long wait times, and yet do nothing to stop costs from increasing. We can expect significant tax increases to pay for everything, and with less control over our lives. It’s a big change and not one to take lightly.
Universal health care, meaning everyone having access to health care is essential. The issue I have with a single payer system in the USA is that one size does not fit all. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have years of experience and insight into unintended consequences, and we need to keep working for a good solution to these insane cost increases, besides a government takeover.
If you have questions about anything from the exchanges to cost increases to a single payer system, please give me or my team a call!
California: A Health Care Laboratory With Mixed Results