Archive for October, 2009

Not so simple Teresi

While I believe a healthy dose of the free market is necessary for a well functioning health care system support a system,  Amanda Teresi’s arguments miss a fundamental point: the free market can never solve the health care crisis.  This does rest upon some concern about health care as a special moral good, although that certainly holds as well. No just by its very nature free market health insurance does not work.

The central contention in Teresi’s argument is if people will be able to purchase portable insurance in a free market than many of the current problems including coverage of preexisting conditions would disappear. What would be a free market in health insurance? Given some of Teresi’s arguments it seems to fair to suppose that a government regulatory agency would ensure the solvency of the insurance company.  In addition I doubt that she would argue against a regulatory system that requires rates to have some basis in fact.  For instance if a carrier wants to charge more to women than men it must provide data to support this.  No mandates in the type of benefits offered.  No restrictions on underwriting methods used.  No limits on the rates offered.  In other words a basic set of regulation to make sure that a carrier can keep its promises and isn’t discriminate bases on non-economic factors.

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