We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Health Insurers Getting Desperate, Begging for Coverage Mandate

The medical insurance industry raised eyebrows last November by making this offer to the federal government: we'll guarantee coverage for folks with pre-existing conditions if you'll require everyone to purchase private insurance. That was back in November, when there was hope Tom Daschle would ride into HHS and socialize medicine (the way it should be!).

Now with Daschle out of the way, you'd think the insurers would breathe a sigh of relief. But when they hear President Obama mention health care 30 times in a one-hour press conference, they know the steam train is still a-comin'.

So the insurers have upped their offer: they're saying that in addition to November's offer, they're now willing to "transition away from risk rating." In other words, not only will Blue Cross et al. not deny you coverage just because you have diabetes or asthma or cancer, they also won't charge you an extra arm and a leg for a policy. (They'll charge you the same arm and a leg they charge the rest of us.)

All the insurers are asking is that the federal government requier every one of us to buy their private policies... and please please please don't offer a government insurance plan.

I continue to be amused at the insurance lobby's desperation to stop the government from creating the sort of national health coverage that a majority of Americans want. Again, I must ask, if government health insurance is so ineffective, so absolutely awful, why are the private insurers so afraid of the competition?

I suspect it's because they know what I've been saying all along: that in head-to-head competition, government health insurance would beat the pants off what the profiteers offer.


  1. why are private insurers scared of government health insurance? because government health insurance will hurt their business.

    that doesn't mean that government health insurance is better. look at indian health services and the VA hospital system. you want that for the rest of us? i don't.

    it would hurt private insurers because the playing field wouldn't be level. on one hand, you'd have a program forcibly funded by taxpayers. on the other hand, you'd have a program voluntarily funded by private individuals.

    normally, if one program is inferior to its competitor, it would go out of business. but in this case, the government won't go out of business. it will just keep taxing, borrowing, deficit-spending, and printing money to keep its program going.

  2. I'm not sure that answers the market competition question, lexrex. The government could offer it, but why would anyone by it? Why would the superior private insurers have to worry about losing a single sensible customer?

  3. Of course the insurers want a mandate. In the absence of a government insurance program, such a mandate would force people to buy their product. I think that's ridiculous. Do you suppose I could get a mandate forcing every American family with children to buy a copy of "Calculus Know-It-All" -- or any mathematics book?

    If I'm not mistaken, Barack Obama doesn't like this sort of mandate, and for precisely the same reason I don't like it. But does Obama dislike it enough to veto it? I can hardly wait to see Obama veto something big. It would give me some confidence that he's not just a "yes man" to his underlings.

  4. I've never liked the mandate, either: if the government has to intrude that much in the market, it might as well go whole hog and provide the insurance itself.

    [By the way, Stan, shouldn't yo be out shoveling? :-) ]


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.