Unholy Trinity

Kevin Grier's take on our likely health care reform legislation fairly well sums up my own feelings:

I actually think we are going to get a reform that is both worse than the status quo and worse than a pure single payer system.

Kudos to our Congress!
As I understand it, insurance companies will not be able to refuse to cover some one, nor will they be able to charge high risk people a premium that reflects their risk. The price won't be uniform, but the maximum variation will be well below what it would take to correctly price the variation in risks.
As I noted before, this will make premiums for healthy people extra high. And as the WSJ pointed out yesterday, at least on the margin, it will make healthy people want to hold off from getting any insurance until they are actually sick.
Problem solved, you say?
Ahh, but now it appears that the third leg of the trinity will be rule that it will be illegal to not have insurance!
So young healthy people will be forced to buy way overpriced (relative to their risk) insurance. Plus if said young healthy people make good money, they can look forward to paying more taxes to subsidize the purchase of said insurance by others.
Guaranteed Issue, Community Rating, Individual Mandate.  They sound so reasonable and innocuous, but they are freakin' lethal.
I guess it shows that we care.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center

One thought

  1. Canada may be a bit more economically free than the U.S., but it hardly bodes well for the long-term well-being of a society that can engage in such Orwellian prosecution of free speech as exampled by the recent case of Mark Steyn. To wit, Steven Pinker, Canadian, had the following interesting things to say of the Steyn case (via The Corner):
    Words and Rules [Mark Steyn]
    Professor Steven Pinker of Harvard University was asked about my recent travails with Canada’s hydra-headed “human rights” monster and gave a splendidly straightforward response:

    I was aware of the Steyn/Maclean’s case.
    It’s truly shocking that a supposedly democratic government has arrogated to itself the power to censor speech because some judge or bureaucrat thinks it may “expose a person to contempt.” This could outlaw any criticism of a practice that is statistically more common in some groups than others, such as slavery, polygamy, child abuse, ritual torture, gay-bashing, and so on.
    It allows haters to decide who gets to say what — all they have to do is say, “So-and-so’s essay made me show contempt,” and So-and-so gets fined or jailed. And it opens the door to the government banning speech that upsets anyone, anywhere — as all-important speech is bound to do.
    This is an atrocity against the ideal of free speech, and will make Canada a laughing stock among lovers of democracy and enlightenment.

    Well said. I wish Canadian politicians and even my fellow media hacks up north got it as clearly as Prof Pinker does.

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