Monday, January 5, 2015

Look Who's Stupid Now.

Ha ha ha!. The irony is just too rich and delicious. The New York Times features an article about the uproar taking place at Harvard University over the rising health insurance premiums facing their faculty. These are the some of the same people who advised the Obama administration and the Democratic party on how to design the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

The university now says that the faculty have to pay more for their own healthcare and that is partly a direct result of the ACA's many new rules. Some of these expensive mandates include keeping adult children on a parent's plan until the age of 26 and free preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies. The new health plans now have deductibles of $250 for individuals and $750 for families. They also have to contribute $20 as copay for a doctor's visit. Though these numbers sound ridiculously cheap to many of us who now can only afford high deductible and catastrophic health plans, the Harvard professors have their panties all twisted over it.

Jerry Green, an economics professor and former provost, declares the new expenses, "equivalent to taxing the sick." He fears the higher deductibles will cause people to avoid seeking medical care until they are sicker, increasing the cost of the care. Mary Waters, a professor of sociology, worries "It seems that Harvard is trying to save money by shifting costs to sick people."

While insurance companies have tried to trim premium increases by offering extremely narrow physician networks, that plan is anathema to this crowd. "Harvard employees want access to everything. They don't want to be restricted in what institutions they can get care from," says Dr. Barbara McNeil, head of the health care policy department at Harvard Medical School. Presumably some of these institutions that would be excluded would include the world class but high cost centers like Mass General and Brigham and Women's hospitals.

It looks like the faculty at Harvard University isn't so smart after all no matter how many laurels they wear. As Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics from MIT and one of the principle architects of Obamacare, infamously noted, the ACA was designed to be so complicated that it will receive the endorsements and votes of the "stupid" public. Now I guess we know which campus has the more stupid professors.

No comments:

Post a Comment