28 Jan 2010

Health Care Reform—the Charade of Regulation

Advocates of passing some form of the health care “reform” measures on the table as of January 2010 are claiming that a fresh new regulatory regime will control costs to the point where imposing mandates on everyone to buy overpriced underinsurance would be justified. This claim rests mainly on four features—

• An end to refusing policies and price discrimination for people with pre-existing conditions
• An end to recissions of existing policies when people get expensively sick
• Immediate sunshine on price gouging to discourage excessive price increases by insurance companies through review and disclosure of insurance rate increases
• Requiring premium refunds if insurance companies exceed a specified medical loss ratio (MLR)

Unfortunately, none of these proposals, however helpful in and of themselves, will have any effect whatsoever on controlling health care costs.