Monday, May 9, 2011

Schwartz DP OpEd on Insurance Exchanges

Congratulations to Brian Schwartz for his latest OpEd in the 5/6/2011 Denver Post, "Don't get mugged by a politically controlled insurance exchange".

Here is the opening:
Say a street thug breaks your nose, robs you, and then offers to "help" by driving you to the hospital. Would you accept? Of course not. But some Colorado legislators are accepting - by supporting the Washington-controlled health insurance exchange in Senate Bill 11-200.

Insurance exchanges seem appealing because they give employees more health plan options and relieve employers of insurance-related administrative costs. Policies bought through an exchange are also portable, so changing or losing your jobs does not mean losing your health plan.

But creating an exchange run by Washington empowers politicians to "fix" problems resulting from bad policies they have preserved...
(Read the full text of Denver Post, "Don't get mugged by a politically controlled insurance exchange".)

Schwartz is absolutely right. We don't need yet another government bureaucracy to give people better access to affordable health insurance. Instead, we should eliminate the current policies that keep prices high, for instance by repealing mandatory benefits and allowing customers to purchase insurance across state lines.

The best way to lower prices is to respect and protect the freedom of consumers to purchase (and insurers to offer) the products and services according to their best judgment. It's worked in every other sector of the American economy -- we should let it work for health insurance as well.