Saturday, March 18, 2017
Go do WHAT to myself? HOW DARE YOU!
So the Tea Party wants a new healthcare plan, and they seem to be pinning their entire case on allowing insurance companies to do business across state lines. Right now, to my knowledge, each state has its own Dept. of Insurance that regulates the companies doing business there. Fifty states, 50 Departments of Insurance.
It's common for one or two health insurers in each state to control 50, 60, even 80% of the market. The GOPers (Gophers? *snicker*) think removing the state-to-state barrier will open up the market to much more competition, bringing rates down. What I want to know is, why didn't we do this years ago? Who is opposed to more competition? Oops....I think I just answered my own question. I can only think of two groups who would object: The various State Departments of Insurance, and the insurance companies.
Bureaucrats by definition like bureaucracy. They just loooove to have more forms, more rules, more audits, and more papers to shuffle from "in" to "out". It's their job security. And the Chairman at each State Dept. of Insurance sees his department as his personal fiefdom. The more people he's over, the larger his department, the more prestige he enjoys, and the larger the salary he can justify asking for. There's obstacle #1.
And the health insurers no doubt just loooove it when they can have a HUGE market share in a state. They can say "jump", and the doctors, hospitals, etc have no choice but to answer, "how high?" When the insurers hold all the cards, they can control the game. They can decide what is and isn't covered, how much they will pay for each procedure, etc, and the doctors and hospitals have little choice but to fall in line. There's obstacle #2.
So if it's a good idea, why must we associate this increased "open market" ONLY with the new Tea Party/Ryan/Trump plan? Why couldn't it apply to a new, improved ACA 2.0, or ScottCare, or whatever? Why can't the Democrats and Republicans band together (for once) and just slap the ever-lovin' crap out of the (state insurance) bureaucrats and the insurance companies? The bureaucrats can clean out their desks and go home, and the insurance companies can be told, "NO MORE! This is how it's gonna be from now on. Y'all get lean, learn the definition of "customer service", and never forget....YOU work for US! We have choices!"
Is there anyone else who has a motive to keep the system we have now? Am I missing anything?
Like I've always said....no one has a monopoly on good ideas. Open the market to more competition and let's see what happens, even if the Tea Party/Ryan/Trump plan dies en route.