Friday, July 09, 2010

Don't Give Big Insurance What it Wants

The biggest mistake Republicans can make at this point is to fall for the line that big insurance will join in the effort to repeal Obamacare.

ObamaCare is manna from heaven as far as big insurance is concerned. The program centralizes regulation of insurance is a group of captured federal regulatory agencies (opposed to dispersed regulatory authority among the states). Above all, it does the incredible. It makes buying insurance mandatory ... which relieves insurance from competition of self-funded care (which erodes profits).

From the perspective of big insurance, the only downside to Obamacare is that it's administered by people hostile to big profits. The ideal world for big insurance would be for neocons to take over the administration of insurance and for idiot Republicans to allow big insurance to sell products across state lines ... which would lead to even greater consolidation of the industry.

Those wishing to repeal Obamacare must realize that big insurance is the enemy of reform.

To preserve our freedoms, the repeal of Obamacare must focus on strengthening local control and providing alternatives to insurance.

Strengthening local control means continuing the tradition that insurance can't sell across state borders. It also means created mechanisms for self-funded care that can compete against insurance.


Dr. Joe Jarvis said...

Most importantly, local control of health systems requires passage of legislation like "The States' Right to Innovate in Health Care Act", first proposed a number of sessions ago by Rep. Tierney (D-Mass).

y-intercept said...

Sorry about taking so long to reply. I actually took time to research the reference.

The idea behind the "The States' Right to Innovate in Health Care Act" is that rights are things granted or revoked by the central government.

This is a slap in the face of the classical liberal tradition which saw rights as inalienable and endowed by the creator. It is also counter to the vision of our country being a union of states.

The amendment says that any powers local concerns is granted by the federal government, when the American tradition was that the federal governments had limited enumerated powers.

In the post States Don't Have Rights, States Have Powers, I argued that the slogan "states rights" is a rhetorical trap as it implies rights are granted by the state.

Something granted or revoked by the whims of the government is not really a right, now, is it?

A final hang up I have with the amendment is that it appears to be one directional. A state can place greater restrictions on the health care freedom of individuals, but cannot grant the health care freedomes revoked by the federal government.

Overall, this idea that the central government will give back some conditional powers to local concerns is not really a strong statement in favor of local control.