Monday, February 22, 2010

Why is that my problem?

In a good explanation of the health insurance premium rate review provision in President Obama’s proposed health care bill, Wonk Room says:

Since conservatives will surely claim that rate review is some kind of government take over of private industry or a burdensome new federal requirement for insurers, it’s important to note that states that have instituted rate review house profitable insurance companies and maintain competitive and vibrant markets.

Um, no. I hope that conservatives are intelligent enough to claim that rate review is best handled by States, especially since the Wonk Room post itself says (emphasis mine):

According to the New York Times the Health Insurance Rate Authority, “made up of health industry experts that would issue an annual report setting the parameters for reasonable rate increases based on conditions in the market.” What’s ‘reasonable’ will vary from state to state.

Although Wonk Room talks about the success some States have had in beating back health insurance premium rate hikes they considered unreasonable, it also claims that “state governments often lack the resources or political will to keep insurers in check.” Perhaps, but why is that my problem? My State of New Jersey regulates its health insurance companies within an inch of their lives and I’m sure some of my State tax dollars go to pay for that regulation. I don’t see why I should also pay for the Federal government to "take care" of States whose voters aren’t willing to do the job themselves. Or who even - heretical as it no doubt seems to Obama - don't think the job needs to be done at all.

(Via Legal Insurrection via Neo-neocon)

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