President Obama and some other Democrats are putting out sounders about scaled-down health regulations. Striking his new populist pose, Mr. Obama told ABC News, "We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people." The problem with the president's anti-business stance is that if enacted into law, it will destroy private health insurance.One question -- is that a bug or a feature? In other words, are there some politicians who want to pass this kind of measure knowing that the economic logic will eventually drive private insurance companies out of business? Then they could claim that "the free market has failed" and propose a governnent-run "single-payer" system as the solution.
You don't have to take our word for it. Liberals like New York Times columnist Paul Krugman are warning about the president's suggestion. Regarding the regulation to forbid insurance companies from taking into account preexisting health conditions, Mr. Krugman wrote, "healthy people [will] choose to go uninsured until they get sick, leading to a poor risk pool, leading to high premiums, leading even more healthy people dropping out." In other words, proposed regulations would produce more uninsured Americans and higher insurance costs.
To illustrate how bad this idea is, imagine if motorists could buy automobile insurance right after an accident and then were allowed to drop it once the car was fixed. Without revenue from regular premiums, insurance companies couldn't cover all the claims and would go under...