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Wednesday, January 31st 2007

Bush's Health Care Plan

Managed Care Matters doesn’t like Bush’s health plan.

Insurance companies work very hard to not cover anyone with a current or past health care condition that may at some point in the future lead to claims. They are not purposely being bad; if they cover everyone their competitors won’t, they will soon find themselves bankrupt. Moreover, the individual insurance companies are “insurance” companies – and insurance is the spreading of unforeseen risks among a large number of policyholders.

Anyone with a pre-existing condition does not belong in a pool of those with no pre-ex conditions.

But they still need health care and a mechanism to fairly pay for same.

And therein lies the problem with Bush health care. His plan seeks to use the insurance markets and tax policy to reduce the number of uninsureds, who will use tax credits to fund their new insurance plans.

Except no one will sell them a plan if they have a pre-existing condition.

Earlier Mr. Paduda called it,

Bush’s plan relies on the incredibly screwed up individual health insurance market. You know, the market that won’t cover your eyes if you had pink eye, or your ankles if you sprained one a few years back, or your heart if you take Lipitor. I’m not blaming the insurance companies; they operate in the Alice-in-Wonderland system as best they can. And if they start acting altruistically they go bust.

If there isn’t supply, creating demand won’t solve the problem. And if there is supply, it has to be at a price level that consumers can afford.

Hard to argue with this. However, I think it is a matter of what the expectations for the plan were. This isn’t a universal coverage plan and I’m not sure how it can hurt (although that might be my lack of understanding).