May 14, 2009
NEW CAMPAIGN: The dirty secret about expensive health insurance
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: "If Obama scews up health care where will the Canadians go?" -- sign seen at a protest event

Subject: NEW CAMPAIGN! The dirty secret about expensive health insurance

Do you need health insurance coverage for . . .

  • Maternity care, if you're a single male
  • Infertility, if you don't want a family
  • Alcoholism, if you don't drink

If you live in New York state then you (or your employer) must pay for all these things, by law, or go without health insurance.

It's even worse in New Jersey, where the law only permits four basic health insurance plans, each with its own cluster of mandatory coverages. As a result, family premiums run from $2,631.41 to $6,467.58, per month. (Source: "America's Health Care Crisis Solved" by J. Patrick Rooney and Dan Perrin, page 113).

People who can't afford those premiums (and few can) must go without health insurance.

Similar situations exist in other states . . .

Health insurance is too expensive because the politicians have made it that way. They've bowed to lobbyists who want to use the coercive power of government to mandate coverage for . . .

  • The medical equivalent of oil changes and tire rotations
  • Or things like maternity care for single males, infertility treatments for people who don't want families, and alcoholism therapy for people who don't drink.

These laws corrupt the very nature of insurance. Insurance is supposed to cover unlikely but expensive procedures, NOT simple blood tests, or massages, or acupuncture, or chiropractic adjustments, or anything else we could afford to pay out of pocket, if only so many of us weren't being gouged by legally inflated insurance premiums.

Now the politicians want to redesign the entire American health care system from the top down, in one giant step, to supposedly fix a problem they created in the first place. But, instead of enacting a "grand plan" that will impact, and potentially harm, everyone, and that we may never get rid of once it's in place, the politicians should start by taking a few simple steps to clean up the mess they've made.

Fortunately, not all states have mandatory coverage laws as bad as New York and New Jersey. True major medical coverage is still available in many states, but only if you happen to live in one of those places. Congress can fix this problem very easily. They should pass a law permitting you or your employer to buy insurance regulated by other states. This would . . .

  • Enable you or your employer to shop for better deals across state lines
  • Put pressure on state governments to liberalize their insurance regulations

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