The government intervention into the insurance industry known as Obamacare has been beset with trouble. Advocates of the law say the solution is yet more government intervention.
A. Barton Hinkle writes:
The obvious lesson here is that the government shouldn’t try to hammer square pegs into round holes. So naturally, Washington is ignoring it. President Obama thinks the answer is to create a “public option”—a government insurance program—for the exchanges, to spur competition.
Brilliant plan: Insurance companies already have a hard time eking out a profit on the exchanges, so set up a nonprofit competitor to underbid them. That’ll have them knocking down the door to get back in, right?
To others, the answer lies in jacking up the federal tax penalties levied on those who don’t buy insurance to make nonparticipation altogether too painful. In their view, government is just not being punitive enough.
“This is the classic case of where Johnny marked crayon on the wall,” says Joseph Antos of the American Enterprise Institute. “His mother said, ‘Don’t do that,’ and then slapped his hand a day later. The connection between the offense and the penalty is a little remote.”