Friday, January 18, 2008

Trevor Leed LTE in Colorado Springs Gazette

The January 15, 2008 Colorado Springs Gazette printed the following letter to the editor from reader Trevor Leed:
Blame government meddling for high insurance costs

As enthralling as Chris Reimer's assertion that the insurance industry is run through shady, backroom collusion is, it is far from reality ("Insurance companies aren't in a free market," Letters, Jan. 9). While all businesses use all manner of charts and graphs to assess and guide, no product or service is worth more than what consumers are willing to pay for it. If anyone feels that they're not getting a good deal, there are an array of companies offering similar and different services at varying rates. You could even go without: that is the free market in action.

I do agree that the insurance market isn't entirely free, but that's not because of greedy executives, it's due to regulation. Let's say I were to go around and sign up people and start my own insurance company by charging a small fee that goes into a pool until someone gets sick. I would have half a dozen local, state and federal bureaucrats at my door charging me fees to make sure I'm legitimate and legal. The regulatory cost the medical industry suffers is added to the cost of treatment, creating the need for a deeper pool. Soon my small, market-decided fee, would be artificially inflated.

No, I still put my hope in the free market instead of elected officials. They have a long track record of overpaying, under-delivering and inflating costs. "Free" universal health care would stamp out what's left of the freedom the market garners us.

Trevor A. Leed
Colorado Springs