Thomas Sowell on government interference in the health insurance market:
Health Insurance. Whatever position people take on health care reform, there seems to be a bipartisan consensus— usually a sign of mushy thinking— that it is a good idea for the government to force insurance companies to insure people whom politicians want them to insure, and to insure them for things that politicians think should be insured. Contrary to what politicians expect us to do, let’s stop and think.
Why aren’t insurance companies already insuring the people and the conditions that they are now going to be forced to cover? Because that means additional costs— and because the insurance companies don’t think their customers are willing to pay those particular costs for those particular coverages.
It costs politicians nothing to mandate more insurance coverage for more people. But that doesn’t mean that the costs vanish into thin air. It simply means that both buyers and sellers of insurance are forced to pay costs that neither of them wants to pay. But, because political rhetoric leaves out such grubby things as costs, it sounds like a great deal.
It’s how government increases the number of people who can’t afford health insurance. Nothing does this better than Obamacare, the so-called “affordable” care act. Inserting a massive government beuacracy between buyer and seller cannot possibly make anything cheaper and cannot help but make it more expensive. The key to understanding how an economy works is to understand that costs always have to be paid by someone. Hoping that someone is someone else is never a good strategy.