Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rent-Seeking for Dummies

Businessweek has a real whopper of a shocker: Walgreen, Blue Cross Want You to Join Obamacare. Really!

Actually, that's something of a non sequitur. One does not simply "join" Obamacare---one signs up for a dense, overpriced health care plan guaranteed (and mandated) by Obamacare.  "Joining" Obamacare is akin to ordering a McDonald's for lunch. But I digress with these grammarian affairs!

As the White House scrambles to get all the Obamacare pieces in place by October and to hold off those who would repeal the law, two big health-care companies have given their support to the rollout. Walgreen (WAG) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association—both of which stand to profit from more people getting insurance—have launched a website to explain “how the new health care law affects you.” Walgreen will also provide information to shoppers in its 8,000 stores, Bloomberg News reports...

Naturally, insurance carriers and health-care providers want as many people enrolled as possible—especially the young and healthy, as well as people who qualify for subsidies. That means more premiums for insurers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield plans and more prescriptions sold at stores like Walgreen. If healthy people skip coverage, insurers will bear the higher costs of covering sicker populations, which would drive up premiums.

Well. The first, best step would probably be to have less "sicker populations," which means eating less garbage and exercising more. Are we given to wishful thinking? Maybe. In any case, Businessweek apparently got the memo three-and-a-half years too late. Why shouldn't Anthem be foaming at the mouth over the PPACA? Picadilly's would do the same thing if there were a Buffet Eater and Affordable Gluttony Act on the dock. 

Anyways, it's just an hilarious piece of irony for the progressive crusaders who wanted to pass this law in the first place. Walgreen's and Anthem---they're the "bad guys," the "corporations" and "one percenters" and "fat cats" and whatever else has been said about them. If they were so gung-ho about this law, that should tell you something---the first being that lefties simply don't know where to turn to solve their problems. 

Meanwhile, the government has launched a new website,, to help the little guy navigate the perils and pitfalls of health insurance. Sayeth Leviathan on catastrophic coverage:

These policies usually have lower premiums than a comprehensive plan, but cover you only if you need a lot of care. They basically protect you from worst-case scenarios.

Sounds like the definition of "insurance." Maybe comprehensive plans are part of the cost-raising problem to begin with. Or perhaps "free" birth control really is the way to go.

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