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It’s Not Health Care ‘Reform’; It’s Exploitation

To stop health care exploitation we must address the root issue: the nature of rights and the purpose of government.

by
Brian T. Schwartz

Bio

July 22, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Scratch a health care “reformer” and you’re likely to find a health care exploiter. As ObamaCare’s provisions and taxes begin and resistance builds through lawsuits and state-level measures, it’s important to see the exploitative motives driving increased political control of your medical care. Health control advocates won’t stop with ObamaCare (HR 3590). “Once we kick through this door, there’ll be more legislation to follow,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Whether health control supporters demand that all policies include certain benefits or that everyone must buy government-approved insurance or something like “Medicare for all,” the policies don’t follow from the alleged justifications for them. But they do follow from one motive: charity at gunpoint. That is, forcing you to finance other people’s medical care. This is exploitation.  It’s about time freedom advocates reclaim this term often misused by the left, as so-called health care “reform” is a clear case of exploitation.

Mandated insurance benefits are one means of health care exploitation. For example, many states mandate that all small-group policies cover maternity care and comprehensive autism treatments. One of the ObamaCare mandates effectively bans limited-benefit plans. Surely some people want such coverage, but the plans available to them do not include it. But it’s a non sequitur to mandate that all plans include such coverage. This forces everyone to pay higher premiums for coverage they may not want or need.

If this is just a matter of insuring against certain risks, supporters of mandated benefits should support only mandating the sale of supplemental insurance policies, or “riders” on existing policies. For example, insurers in a few states sell supplemental maternity insurance. Canadian companies offer critical illness insurance, which pays parents a lump sum should their children have a serious condition such as cystic fibrosis, Lyme disease, heart disease, and cancer. Given existing products like these, it’s not hard to imagine a supplemental policy for expecting couples seeking to enhance their insurance coverage related to child birth and their child’s health.

Then why are mandated benefits so popular, while mandated riders or allowing for interstate insurance competition is not?  Exploitation. It’s not about access to a specific type of insurance, but about forcing you to pay for other people’s medical care.

The demand for mandates would lessen if government didn’t shield insurers from competition and the need to please customers. The tax code favors employer-provided insurance, which makes it very costly for patients to change insurance providers. States prohibit patients from buying better or more affordable insurance policies sold in other states. Lifting this ban would make insurance affordable for 12 million more Americans, and improve quality by increasing competition among insurers and states that regulate them.

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