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Obamacare's numbers don't add up

Commentator Darrel Gaskin contends that the "everyone in" approach to health insurance is necessary in order to prevent the classic insurance market death spiral that occurs when the risk pool is predominantly made up of older and sicker individuals ("What used cars have to do with health insurance," Oct. 20).

However, neither the approach nor the Affordable Care Act does anything about health care costs. In fact, both will drive costs up by increasing the demand for health care while doing nothing about the supply of caregivers.

Individuals with pre-existing conditions will demand the health care for which they were previously priced out of the market. The young and healthy will demand more care (even if it is largely preventive) in order receive value for their premiums.

Those who receive direct subsidies (including the two above groups) will demand more because they are able to receive hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of care for premiums that are virtually free.

Of course, when health care costs, rise premiums must also rise. That, in turn, will require more subsidies from the government in order to keep "everyone in" the market. But exchanging one death spiral for another is hardly a solution.

Steve Williams, Towson

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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