From Jeff Jacoby, Ditch Obamacare, and don’t stop there:
“Republicans want medicine to be inexpensive and effective,” commentator Mark Humphrey writes, “but they do not want to repeal the morass of regulations that make it expensive and ineffective.
Just so. But they can’t have one without the other — and without braving the political storms that have made such chaos of America’s health care and health insurance landscape.
If Republicans were serious, and willing to endure some political pain to reach a better outcome, they’d eliminate the tax deduction for employers who provide health insurance as part of employee compensation. They’d repeal laws that force insurers to cover a legislated array of medical benefits and treatments. They’d remove the barriers that restrict consumers in one state from purchasing health insurance across state lines.
And they’d break the destructive habit of treating health insurance as the logical and preferable way to pay for routine health care.
Were members of Congress to enact all that, they would be replacing a dysfunctional, expensive, and coercive environment with something vastly better: a robust, competitive market focused on the interests of consumers — not on the demands of the insurance cartel and the political class. They would be restoring the price transparency that has long been missing from health care. They would be encouraging medical providers and insurers to compete in earnest — which would inevitably lower prices and improve quality. They would be de-linking medical coverage from employment, and endowing tens of millions of Americans with the economic leverage that comes with choosing for themselves what policies they will buy and from whom. And they would be ending the crazy distortions caused by using health insurance to pay for regular, ordinary expenses — something we would never think of doing with automobile or homeowner’s insurance.
I agree with most of this, but I believe there needs to be some regulation on the pertinent pools to allow people to buy coverage with pre-existing conditions. They must however take the action and not be allowed to scam the system. It would be cheaper for the government to provide vouchers and simply buy the insurance to keep the poor in the pool. Recognize the costs and pay for it- don’t hide it behind mandates, regulations and wishful thinking.
The problem is not insuring for pre-existing conditions, it is doing so in a way that does not focus that cost on a small pool, and allows for gaming the system by only insuring during short term needs.