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What Barack Obama and the Democratic Party Can Learn from the Co-Op Failures

Mistakes were made. Yet mistakes can teach us valuable lessons if we are willing to learn from them. In this case, there is an opportunity for those who gave us the Obamacare insurance cooperatives (the White House and the Democrats in Congress) and those who led the cheerleading from the sidelines (the editors of the New York Times, e.g.) to learn some basic facts about economics, simple arithmetic and crony capitalism.

From the beginning, the idea of a health insurance cooperative sprang from the minds of folks who reject economics and the economic way of thinking. A health insurance CO-OP, it was said, would be less expensive to operate because it would not have to earn a profit. Any surplus earned could be reinvested in the business. In this way, the CO-OP would serve people rather than the profit motive. It would put patients first, rather than shareholders.

Also, these folks believed that you don’t need to know anything about a business in order to be successful running it. The law in fact forbids health insurance executives and employees of health insurance industry trade groups from serving on CO-OP boards. (I’m not making this up. See here.)

John C. Goodman is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and author of the widely acclaimed Independent books, A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, and the award-winning, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other media, have called him the “Father of Health Savings Accounts.”

New from John C. Goodman!
A BETTER CHOICE: Healthcare Solutions for America
Obamacare remains highly controversial and faces ongoing legal and political challenges. Polls show that by a large margin Americans remain opposed to the healthcare law and seek to “repeal and replace” it. However, the question is: Replace it with what?

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