Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Only in America

I share Heather MacDonald's question:

I keep waiting for the doughty advocates of “increasing health insurance competition by more government regulation” (that may or may not include a public option) to explain why insurance should not be available across state lines. Not only is this reform missing from Democrat proposals, the reason why it is missing remains completely off-stage. I’d like to hear some rationale for so limiting the insurance market, even if it’s a specious one.
Indeed. Why should this be? In what way is this justifiable in a civilized, law-bound society?

Digby wonders the same:
I can't think of a single reason why the insurers should keep their anti-trust exemption. In fact, it seems absurd that they had one in the first place ... Only in America could a group of corporations get away with holding a gun to the government's head and basically saying that any plan to regulate them will result in them raising prices so high their own customers won't be able to afford to buy their product anymore. The fact that their "product" is the difference between life and death isn't even mentioned.
Pricing people out of health care because they can, strong-arming Congress as though they're a coeval branch of government, deciding questions of life and death -- somehow, this is all part of the everyday work of a legal commercial enterprise.


Genghis Khan Politics said...

Single payer was what dems wanted in the first place, but they had to compromise for a public option because Obama said it's too drastic a change.

As regards to opening state lines, it's a nice conservative talk point, but it won't work. It will not lower the prices, as insurers in a given state will lose more customers than they gain.

where will all the insurance commissions and regulations at the state level go?

would the states have to negotiate binding bilateral agreements with all 50 states and us territories, or nationalize the administration of insurance?

Check me out on my political blog:

life insurance in Canada said...

Hello. Being a Canadian, I must agree the I don't understand the hassel, either. We have single payer system in Canada and most Canadians are very satisfied with it. We know exactly how much we pay and for what we pay. I understand that the health insurance reform is necessary as the situation is alarming now, but I don't understand why is it so difficult.
Wishing all the best,

Dale said...

GKP and LIiC - you guys have some seriously weird screen names, but whatever. I appreciate the comments. ;-)

Obama is a chicken-shit to a surprising degree. Democrats are tragic as negotiators -- expressed in terms of car-buying, their approach is to propose $1 below the sticker price as their opening bid, because they figure that's a price they might get, they go into it assuming there's no possible way they'll get the car, they're hyper-aware of all the people telling them they shouldn't be buying a car, and they're terrified of not getting the car or upsetting anyone, especially the car salesman and the people who advised them not to buy a car.

From there, naturally, the price ratchets up as negotiations progress. The car salesman -- the GOP in this case -- just salivates and laughs to himself as he bids it up.

If human beings are alive in 150 years, they will marvel at the everyday practice of health insurance, and the politics around it, much as we today regard slavery. They will wonder what the fuck was wrong with us. I wish I knew.