179 percent

Andy Matthews

Every week, NPRI President Andy Matthews writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.

179 percent

I’ve written quite a bit lately about the many problems plaguing the Obamacare rollout, and I’ve focused for the most part on the national picture — the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov, the millions of individual-market insurance plans being canceled, the woefully unsound economic theory upon which the law rests, etc.   

So I thought this week I’d take a look at how the situation is playing out right here in Nevada.

I wish I hadn’t.

As NPRI’s own Steve Miller reported earlier this week at our news website NevadaJournal.com, the ill effects of the health-care law are actually more pronounced here in Nevada than anywhere else in the country.

That’s right. Reporting on an analysis by the Manhattan Institute, Steve writes:

While the average state will face a premium increase of 41 percent, the average increase facing Nevadans is over four times that, at 179 percent — the most in the nation, according to the new report.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen misguided national policy take its worst toll in Nevada. Remember the calamity caused by the feds’ meddling in the housing market? Guess which state ended up with the most severe home-foreclosure crisis as a result. Yep. Ours.

Even more grating than the news about Nevada’s skyrocketing health-insurance premiums is the reason behind it. Steve asked one of the study’s authors why the problem has been so extreme here in the Silver State, and reports that:

One factor, he said, is that in Nevada, as in many states in the South and the Southwest, the insurance marketplace has been relatively unregulated, compared to much of the country.

In other words, it is precisely because Nevada had a comparatively sound approach to health-care policy — by limiting regulation of the insurance market — that we’ve had the screws put to us so badly. And that underscores a deeper problem: The bigger and further-reaching our federal government becomes, the harder it’s going to be for states, no matter how well governed, to avoid the effects of bad national policy.

It’s just too bad there isn’t a prominent Nevadan in a position of power in Washington, D.C., who could look out for his home state and make sure these kinds of things didn’t happen. But I guess those are the breaks.

By the way, I want to thank those of you who wrote to me in response to my Red Sox column last week. I received far too many emails for me to possibly respond to them all, but please know that I appreciate you taking the time to write.

Oh, and I wanted to give you a quick update on our “Thanksgiving Thank You” event scheduled for this coming Tuesday at our Reno office. We’ve just confirmed that radio host Dan Mason of KKOH is going to broadcast his show live from our party, so you won’t want to miss it. We’re located at 1225 Westfield Ave., No. 7, and I hope you’ll come by (and bring a friend or two!) anytime between 3 and 7 p.m.

As always, thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Andy Matthews
NPRI President

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