Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Schwartz in Daily Camera: Insurance Slumlords

The April 6, 2010 Boulder Daily Camera has just published Brian Schwartz' latest OpEd, "Get ready for health insurance slumlords". Here is the opening:
If you dislike your health insurer now, get ready for insurers' response to insurance price controls. The recently passed HR 3590 will impose them nationally, and some politicians in Colorado want more. Insurance price controls will make your insurer act like a slumlord. Expect worse customer service, skimpier plans, and more claim denials.

Price controls on rental properties encourage landlords to become slumlords. Forbidden from making a profit by renting at market rates, to make a living landlords must skimp on quality and service, rather than please customers. The same will result from insurance price controls: lousy policies for people with pre-existing conditions or anyone who might get sick. That is, everyone...
(Read the full text of "Get ready for health insurance slumlords".)

Controls breed more controls. Hence we need free-market reforms along the lines Brian Schwartz advocates to undo the existing bad controls. Otherwise, we may face the bleak future.