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The Missing Health Care Debate
Posted on Oct 5, 2009
Not much of this was heard during the Senate Finance Committee deliberations on the health insurance reform bill. The insurance industry got its way and is now engaged in backroom talks to fine-tune the deal.
There was no discussion of the best solution, Medicare for all, the single-payer system. Anyone proposing that now is considered a wacko, far out of the Washington mainstream.
In the absence of such a sensible plan, regulation has to be the answer.
Without strong regulation, the companies will find ways to get around requirements of the law. For example, the reform legislation is promising guarantees that the companies can no longer refuse to sell policies because of patients’ prior health conditions or drop the ill from their rolls. The insurance companies will undoubtedly try to find loopholes in those guarantees. And even though their revenues will increase thanks to millions of new policyholders, including the healthy, they will find excuses for rate increases.
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