The lead on the LA Times (July 2, 2010) editorial is an example of perfection in two sentences. “Anthem tries again” is the headline atop the article. But even if you were an alien who had just landed on this planet, the subheading tells you everything you need to know about how little understanding of health care markets we’ve actually achieved this year.

It reads: “The insurer’s proposed premium hikes are staggering, but the problem is that medical costs have been growing considerably faster than inflation.” Yes! Could we dare hope that even the uber-liberal Los Angeles Times “gets it”? Sadly, no.

The editorial continues, “AB 2578 would help put a check on unjustified hikes.” They explain that, “AB 2578 would help make sure that insurers don’t reap outsized profits after the federal government starts requiring all adults to buy coverage in 2014.”

Over the past year, some hospitals and provider groups have demanded breathtaking increases to remain in a carrier’s network. Legislators in Massachusetts proposed more than 70 new mandates in a state whose own health care “reform” has created a sea of red ink. Legislators and regulators double-counted alleged savings to get a deeply flawed health care bill passed. Yet the lamestream media is more interested in making political points than in understanding a simple concept. Let me help. It’s the costs, stupid!

The editorial concludes by stating that, “Ultimately, however, the key to holding down premiums will be to bring the spiraling costs of medical care under control.” The first and last sentences of this editorial give us hope, but all of the politicized and populist claptrap in between is nothing more than a distraction from the real problem.

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