For the past couple of weeks, Democrats and the mainstream media teamed up to carefully advance a new narrative intended to shift the blame for Obamacare's implosion onto the Trump administration. Their argument was a relatively simple one: the mere threat from the Trump administration to remove taxpayer-funded federal subsidies caused extreme uncertainty in insurance markets and resulted in healthcare providers withdrawing from exchanges and even leaving some with no coverage at all. We covered the preposterous claims in a couple of posts:
Of course, their argument ignored the fact that declining insurer participation and surging premiums was just a continuation of a long-term Obamacare trend that has been quite consistent since 2013...but those are just facts, so who cares? It was different this time because, well at least as of last week, it was Trump's fault.
Now, fast-forward just a couple of days and the mainstream media is tripping over themselves to declare Obamacare a great success again after CareSource stepped in to provide coverage for the residents of Paulding, OH, the last remaining county in America that was without a provider for 2018.
Said differently, last week Obamacare's collapse was imminent and Trump's fault but this week it is suddenly a great success story with all the glory once again bestowed upon its creator, Obama.
Here are just a couple of the triumphant headlines from today:
Of course, while this should be painfully obvious, it seems that we need to once again provide a quick tutorial to our friends in the mainstream media on how basic economics and mathematics work and why monopolies are generally bad for consumer prices.
You see, dear WaPo, in any given financial transaction there are typically buyers and sellers. All else being equal, buyers tend to get the best prices when there are numerous sellers all looking to sell identical products...this is commonly referred to as 'competition' and it's a great thing for consumers.
On the other hand, when there is only one company selling a product that everyone needs to buy, that is called a 'monopoly' and it's typically disastrous for consumers because that company can effectively charge whatever they want without fear of market share losses.
All of which brings us to the Obamacare coverage map that you're suddenly so proud of. You see, while you're super excited to declare victory because 334 people in Paulding, Ohio can still buy an Obamacare Bronze plan in 2018, a massive swath of millions of Americans are still suffering from surging Obamacare premiums brought on by the monopolies that you're celebrating.
But sure, rate hikes of 100-200% over just four years...
...and another 20-40% in 2018 is a 'great success'...and it's all yours.