Thursday, May 04, 2006

Health care

Last week, I blogged on the Left's adoption of Cathy Seipp, a conservative writer suffering from lung cancer who wrote an op-ed in the LA Times which people like the Kos-ers and our own folkbum thought was a call for radical health care "reform" (often meant, although perhaps not by Jay as "single payer" itself a euphemism for government heath care.)

Cathy has now told them all that they got her wrong.

What she does advocate - and I think it may have merit - is a system of mandatory individual health insurance. Everyone - at some specified age, say 21 - would be required to buy and maintain a basic policy. Insurers would be required to offer that policy to everyone - no medical underwriting and, I think, no age adjustments. (Yeah, that results in young people subsidizing older people but we all know where we're going. Without that, aren't you going to have adverse selection?)Premiums could be paid with pre-tax dollars and employers could get out of the health care business. Subsidies could be provided to those who can't afford it, but if everyone has to buy coverage these policies will be less expensive than what we see in the private market today.

The required policy should be "no-frills" coverage. If you wanted a more elaborate product, you'd be on your own.

This does require more regulation than I normally like to see, but there does not seem to be a practical alternative.

1 comment:

jp said...

Would adding the uninsured result in an adverse selection situation for the new group and higher premiums? The word mandatory is frightening. Freedom of choice is preferable, including freedom to choose whether to subsidize people who make unhealthy life style choices. You have gone soft on this one.