Obama's premise is wrong. We're not going to be able to "get everybody into the pool" because doing that would mean breaking up the system of employment-based health benefits that is protected by ERISA. That 43 percent of the market is staying put. The only thing that could crack this wall of protection would be if benefits were highly taxed and the federal "insurance exchanges" were made so attractive that people were willing to give up their employment-based benefits in exchange. Those are the things that Obama has sworn won't happen.
Instead, whatever "exchanges" are created will remain isolated, populated only by the very sick and people who can't get coverage anywhere else. That's what we have now. The only thing that can make the exchange more attractive is if it is highly subsidized. Several states tried this in the 1990s and found it impossibly expensive -- as several Senators testified yesterday.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Tucker on the Health Legislation Summit
William Tucker writing at American Spectator continues to show that he's far more knowledgeable about the health insurance business than the Feds. (Rep. Paul Ryan excepted.)