John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

A Clinic In Every Pot

As much as everybody hates insurance companies, you'd think they'd still know better; this healthcare reform bill, as passed in the House, doesn't make sense. Putting aside the whole quagmire of "a public option or not," the basic premise of insurance companies being disallowed to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions or charging higher premiums based on medical history ain't feasible. You might as well tell lawyers they can't refuse to defend a client that they believe is guilty.[1] Or printers that they can't refuse a job where the client is going to keep changing their mind and want free revisions right up to press time.

I mean, yes, technically, if you can get the Legislative branch to ignore the 10th Amendment (not hard), the President to fail in his veto duties (which every President has done since Washington, alas), and the Supreme Court to roll over (a little harder than the other two but nowhere near as hard as it should be), then yes, technically you can do it. But think about what you're really saying:

"Insurance companies, we are going to legally mandate that you take a loss by forcing you to take customers who are going to cost you more. So suck it."

What do you think the insurance companies are going to do? Seriously? Just say, "well, yeah, we had that coming" and take it?

No, they're going to find other ways to balance the loss. The most likely way is to simply crank up everyone's rates by 30% for the next five years, instead of the 25% per year they've been doing. But, as that might draw unwanted heat, they may find new and exciting ways of canceling people's policies after they've made a payout or two. Or here's a good one: how about dropping spouses all together and forcing everyone to be the "primary holder" on an account or not have one at all?

If you buy into the underlying premise that the insurance industry is a bunch of greedy rat-bastards and it's okay for the government to stick it to them on those grounds, you need to also deal with the problem that nobody ever successfully came between a greedy rat-bastard and his money. They'll find a way, and they'll find it by doing the same thing they've been doing all along: holding onto the customers that make them money, and weeding out the customers that cost them money. All this bill will do is make more loops for them to find holes in.

A feelgood move this bill may be, but an actually good move, it is not.

-The Gneech

PS: Not even screening comments on this one; just leaving it locked down. Too many people read "not in the mood for nonsense" as "please send me lots of nonsense" last time. And then wrote "LA LA LA LA LA I'M NOT READING!" when I called them on it.

[1] Someone messaged me: "The adversarial system is predicated on the defendant having a mandate to be defended by a lawyer. A lawyer can not, having accepted the case, abandon it simply because they believe the client is guilty. And the public defender's job is majorily made up of such cases." To be clear, I meant refuse to take on the client to begin with. And I don't mean public defenders here, I mean private lawyers.
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