The various associations representing American health insurance companies made an interesting proposal today:
In the letter, the two insurance industry groups said their members are willing to "phase out the practice of varying premiums based on health status in the individual market" if all Americans are required to get coverage. Although the letter left open some loopholes, it was still seen as a major development.
Iâ€™ve advocating requiring catastrophic care insurance for some time. Since we have decided (for the better) to provide health care to those who need it, many people (usually the healthy) have cherry picked the system. Illegal immigrants and those who employ them also have. Employers also have shirked their duty in this system since they could feel that their employees would be cared for, even if they didnâ€™t provide insurance.
Requiring insurance puts everybody in the same boat, but still keeps government out of providing health care. Combined with medical savings accounts, switching away from employer paid plans (by banning them not taxing them), and by requiring insurance but not providing it, we can reduce medical system costs but not impose Canadian/UK style health care bureaucracies. Some who propose this system advocate the government helping those who â€œcanâ€™t afford itâ€. I donâ€™t like that because whatever help they provide will raise the cost. Very few people canâ€™t afford this. States and Charities can cover them. I see no Federal role.
It is unfortunate that only fear of losing their entire business drove them to such a wise proposal.
Unfortunately, good ideas like this will not be met with delight by Obama and the Socialists. They will not stop until they have ruined our system by making it â€œfreeâ€.