Friday, February 25, 2011

Schwarz PJM OpEd: How to Insure Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions

Congratulations to Brian Schwartz for his latest OpEd in PajamasMedia, "How to Insure Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions".

Here is the opening:
You might believe the ObamaCare offers the only way to cover people with pre-existing conditions -- if you read only Colorado Public News’s misleading "fact check" on Colorado representatives and the contested health care bill. Actually, ObamaCare makes things worse, not better, for people with pre-existing conditions. Our representatives should support better alternatives.

ObamaCare requires insurers to offer a policy to any applicant, at pretty much the same price regardless of the applicant's health or expected medical expenses. If such price controls sound wise, imagine if restaurants had to charge the same price for steaks and burgers...
(Read the full text of "How to Insure Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions".)

As Schwartz notes, it is bad government policies (especially the tax laws favoring employer-based health insurance thus destroying portability) in conjunction with numerous mandates specifying prices and benefits that destroy the market for those with pre-existing conditions. The problem would essentially evaporate in a free market.

In a free society, only a very tiny minority would be "uninsurable". Anyone who wished to contribute to private charity to pay for their medical expenses would be free to do so without government-compelled mandates or subsidies.

As always, we don't need more bad government policies (like ObamaCare) to "fix" problems caused by earlier bad government policies. Thank you, Brian, for pointing out some positive alternatives to ObamaCare.