In an op-ed, John R. Graham says conservatives should stop pointing to Utah's health insurance exchange as a successful free-market alternative to Obamacare, arguing that "if a venture capitalist had funded the Utah Health Exchange, it would certainly be shuttered on its first anniversary."
As I wrote last October, the Utah Health Exchange launched in August 2009, with 136 businesses enrolling their employees. However, only 13 groups remained enrolled by December 2009. The reason for the initial failure was a classic death spiral of anti-selection. Because carriers had greater underwriting latitude outside the exchange than inside it, firms with sicker employees gravitated to the exchange and those with healthier employees stayed out.