Our Elites at Work

by Michael Knox Beran

The White House today is applauding a decision by the Connecticut insurance commissioner to reject Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s bid to raise insurance premiums. Writing on the White House Blog, Nancy-Ann DeParle notes that Obamacare is offering financial incentives to other states to implement similar price controls:

The work in Connecticut shows the power of premium review – a process used by states to evaluate and approve proposed health insurance premium increases. Today, some states have stronger premium review processes than others, so the Affordable Care Act included $250 million in grants to states that will help them strengthen their premium review efforts and protect consumers. We’ve already seen premium review hold down rate hikes in California, Massachusetts, Maine and now, Connecticut and we expect to hear more good news from other states in the months ahead. Supporting state efforts to crack down on premium hikes is just one of the steps the Affordable Care Act takes to help control health care costs for families nationwide.

It’s another example of the pathology of our elites, the magnificent generosity of intention that ends up doing more harm than good. “We economists don’t know much,” Milton Friedman said, “but we do know how to create a shortage. If you want to create a shortage of tomatoes, for example, just pass a law that retailers can’t sell tomatoes for more than two cents per pound. Instantly you’ll have a tomato shortage. It’s the same with oil or gas.” Or health care.

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