A recent report calls attention to health insurers' increased profits after 8 million people signed up for Obamacare, and Sociology Professor Susan Sered argues that what's good for business isn't necessarily good for consumers.
In the blog post "Health Insurance Roulette: The House Always Wins" Sered writes that she supported the Affordable Care Act "because of a vague promise that this would be the first step to real reform, to developing a system of universal coverage in which all people have the right to health care. For the past six years I’ve been a good foot soldier for President Obama. I’ve donated money and signed petitions each time the Republicans come up with some new attack on Obamacare. But I want to be very clear: The ACA is not the endgame for progressives. It’s high time for us to stop worrying about the Republicans (who won’t pass any legislation in any case) and push forward a true progressive agenda."
Sered analyzes the health care environment in the article and notes that "the enormous resources that many Republicans have poured into attacking Obamacare have, to my eyes, lulled many of us on the left into forgetting that the Affordable Care Act was no more than a political compromise between middle-of-the-road Democrats and right-of-center Republicans. Though it includes a number of good provisions and a certain expansion of healthcare coverage, the ACA was never designed to overhaul the United States healthcare landscape."
Calling health insurance "a fancy form of gambling," she writes that "putting your dollars down on the wrong number can cost you more than you would ever wish to lose. But like in all games of chance, you cannot know which number is right and which is wrong. Not being blessed with the gift of prophecy, most of us cannot predict what medical needs might arise in the future. Insurance companies, however, hire brilliant mathematicians – trained actuaries – who study massive amounts of data which enable them to calculate how much to charge so that the insurance company takes in more money than it pays out. As they say in Vegas, the house always wins."