“California officials said the more than 1.2 million consumers in the state-run Obamacare insurance exchange can expect modest price increases of 4.2% on average next year,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Of course, the fact that government can “negotiate” with insurers using brute force may have something to do with the lower-than-average increases. But starving insurance companies of premiums won’t keep the costs of health care from going up; it will only cause insurance companies to offer worse coverage or worse service. And if government artificially forces down the costs of health care, that will cause doctors to offer worse care or less service. Government can control prices (to some extent), but it can’t escape the inevitable economic consequences. If we want better services and lower prices, we must demand a free market in medicine.