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Opening Arguments

Indiana vs. Obamacare

The conservative Weekly Standard has an interesting and (I think) perceptive look at how Indiana's "people's choice" health-care approach offers a good alternative to the top-down Obamacare's approach:

The idea behind consumer-driven health plans is that people are careful shoppers when paying for services piecemeal but tend to overuse what seems to be free—think of an open buffet. Making every consumer of health care cost-conscious will spread market discipline throughout the system, the thinking goes, and contain prices more successfully than commands from on high. Indiana is now the largest test laboratory in America for this concept as applied to health care. And the results are encouraging. Not only are the customers satisfied, but overuse of emergency rooms and specialists has declined, use of generic drugs has risen, the state’s cost for insuring its workers has been reduced, and—most remarkable—the participants have accumulated in their personal Health Savings Accounts combined reserves of nearly $60 million. That’s $60 million worth of health security for the future.

If we're smart enough to elect people who will kill Obamacare outright, Indiana's experiment can continue. If it survives, it's not certain whether we can go on. The state sought a three-year waiver to let its approach be the mechanism for the expansion of Medicaid envisaged by Obamacare. A one-year waiver was granted, but it's unclear what the eomplete effect of Obamacare's extensive, convoluted requirements will be.