Under Obamacare, People Must Be Broken of their Preference for Choice

Peter Suderman

We have a new contender for most-telling-ever Obamacare quote this morning: “We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has.” That’s Marcus Merz, head of Minnesota health insurer PreferredOne, in a New York Times report on the increasing prevalence of narrow network health plans.

Merz is basically stating openly what the Obama administration won’t, which is that Obamacare is intentionally designed to narrow consumer choice and plan design within the health insurance market. The Obama administration doesn’t want to say this because it is bad politics generally, and also because President Obama specifically and repeatedly promised that, under the law, people would be able to keep their choice of health plans and doctors, not that they would be broken of their preference for medical choice. But the law’s authors and administrators have a pretty good idea of what kind of health insurance they want you to have, and that’s the kind of insurance that you’re going to get.

“We’re all trying to break away from this fixation on open access and broad networks,” Merz continues. “We”—by which I mean the insurance industry—tried this before, in the 1990s, when narrow-network plans referred to as Health Maintenance Organizations were all the rage. It didn’t go so well, and eventually insurers cut it out.

But this time it will be different, insurers tell The New York Times. Why? Because…look, it will just be different. Trust us…



The article continues at Reason.com




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