Thursday, March 26, 2009

Insurers Extend Their Faustian Bargain

Health insurance companies have offered to speed up their eventual suicide, agreeing to yet more concessions to the government in exchange for a law requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance.

This is just an extension of the Faustian bargain described in my earlier piece, "Health Insurance Industry Sells Its Soul to the Devil".

Here's the latest development:
Insurers offer to stop charging sick people more

The health insurance industry offered Tuesday for the first time to curb its controversial practice of charging higher premiums to people with a history of medical problems.

The offer from America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a potentially significant shift in the debate over reforming the nation's health care system to rein in costs and cover an estimated 48 million uninsured people. It was contained in a letter to key senators.

In the letter, the two insurance industry groups said their members are willing to "phase out the practice of varying premiums based on health status in the individual market" if all Americans are required to get coverage.

...Insurers are trying to head off the creation of a government insurance plan that would compete with them, something that liberals and many Democrats are pressing for.
Of course, making more concessions to the statists will only embolden -- not discourage -- them. Once insurers concede the premise that the government is right to set the terms for "universal coverage", then a taxpayer-subsidized government plan will be the inevitable next step. After all, if people have a "right" to insurance but the government deems private offerings to be "unaffordable", then the government will have to step in to allegedly rectify the situation with its own plan.

The unfair competition between a private insurance and subsidized government insurance will not be sustainable for long.

This move by private insurers will likely speed up their own demise. One does not fight a killer by offering to slit one's throat first.

And unless Americans speak out against this development, it won't end well.