Opinion: Daily Journal

What Health Law Brings NC

RALEIGH – Brad Wilson, the chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, is a highly influential figure in North Carolina. As the head of the state’s largest insurer, he plays a major role in both the delivery of health care and debates about the future of health care. Wilson is also a longtime fixture in state Democratic politics and leader in the administration of the University of North Carolina.

So how does Brad Wilson expect the implementation of ObamaCare to affect the delivery of health care and health insurance in North Carolina? In a recent Triangle Business Journal interview, he had a lot to say about the subject.

When asked how the subsidies and regulation are likely to affect the insurance market, he said, “our best estimate is [rates will increase] 30 percent between now and 2014 just because of the legislation.” Insurance premiums would have risen anyway, Wilson admits, because of rising prices for medical services, but you can add another 30 percent in compliance costs.

And that’s just through 2014. It gets more problematic afterwards.

As to the effects of ObamaCare on the structure of the market, Wilson said that the incentives will, on balance, point towards individual buying health plans through the new government-sponsored exchanges. While firms will still have some compelling reasons to stay in the employee-benefit business, the basic math will be hard to miss for many. “There is no question that the consumer side is going to increase,” Wilson said. “There will be many employers who will make the choice not to offer insurance.”

So, according to Wilson and many other analysts, and contrary to what President Obama and his allies promised during the health care debates of 2009 and 2010, the new law will “bend the cost curve” in health care upward, not downward. And it will result in many employees losing their current health plans, whether they liked the plans or not.

In exchange for these “benefits,” all ObamaCare supporters want us to do is yield more of our incomes and our freedoms to the federal government.

Hmm. After careful consideration, I reject the deal. How about you?

Hood is president of the John Locke Foundation.