Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Harvard Professors Who Supported Obamacare are Angry That Their Health Insurance Cost Are Rising

Photo: New York Times
Poor Richard's News

This. Is. Infuriating. Professors at Harvard University have apparently changed their tune about Obamacare now that affecting them negatively.

From the NYT:
For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar. 
Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the heart of the 378-year-old university, voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard employees to pay more for health care. The university says the increases are in part a result of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which many Harvard professors championed. 
The faculty vote came too late to stop the cost increases from taking effect this month, and the anger on campus remains focused on questions that are agitating many workplaces: How should the burden of health costs be shared by employers and employees? If employees have to bear more of the cost, will they skimp on medically necessary care, curtail the use of less valuable services, or both? 
“Harvard is a microcosm of what’s happening in health care in the country,”  said David M. Cutler, a health economist at the university who was an adviser to President Obama’s 2008 campaign. But only up to a point: Professors at Harvard have until now generally avoided the higher expenses that other employers have been passing on to employees. That makes the outrage among the faculty remarkable, Mr. Cutler said, because “Harvard was and remains a very generous employer.”
This particular Obamacare story makes me especially angry. I don’t think that this is a case of the professors simply being ignorant of the effects of Obamacare. After all, anyone who understands economics knew it would be a disaster. I think it’s more sinister than that. I think these professors expected to somehow be immune to it all. In other words, they were in favor of the regulations and higher premiums for you, so long as they weren’t affected by it.