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.
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