Friday, March 5, 2010

Quick Links: Colorado and Indiana

Linda Gorman of the Independence Institute has two new commentaries on Colorado health legislation:

"Bill Summary: HB10-1330, the All-Payer Database: A Transparency Trojan Horse"

Gorman warns that this bill would, "give the Executive Director of Health Care Policy and Financing the power to create a database to collect and store unlimited information on everyone who provides or receives health care in Colorado whether or not the state pays for that health care and whether or not the transaction is a private one."

"Colorado House Bill 1008: Women Pay, But Not Because of Unfair Discrimination"

Gorman notes, "Some people in the Colorado legislature think that everyone should pay the same price for individual health insurance regardless of age, personal habits, or gender. They believe this even though women as a group use more health care than men. They cling tight to the belief that charging someone a lower price for health insurance simply because he uses less health care is, in the language of the bill, 'unfairly discriminatory and shall not be allowed.'"

Ironically she observes, "The Colorado legislature actually helps ensure that women's health insurance premiums cost more."

On a positive note, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels praises health savings accounts in his March 1, 2010 Wall Street Journal essay, "Hoosiers and Health Savings Accounts".

Daniels writes:
Are HSA participants denying themselves needed care in order to save money? The answer, as far as the state of Indiana and Mercer Consulting can find, is no. There is no evidence HSA members are more likely to defer needed care or common-sense preventive measures such as routine physicals or mammograms.

It turns out that, when someone is spending his own money alone for routine expenses, he is far more likely to ask the questions he would ask if purchasing any other good or service: "Is there a generic version of that drug?" "Didn't I take that same test just recently?" "Where can I get the colonoscopy at the best price?"
To the extent that the free market is allowed to operate, patient receive quality care for lower prices. Surprise, surprise!

(Links via PatientPower and JG.)