Health Care Reform – Onto a Tabula Not So Rasa
Under “Liveblogging the President’s Healthcare Speech”, Justin comments
It’s almost nauseating to hear politicians argue for a “public option” on the basis that competition is so limited, when the reason is clearly government regulation and mandates.
This is an excellent point also raised recently by Andrew. Health care reform is being designed not upon the clean slate of a health care system operating under purely market conditions but upon layers of regulations built up over several decades – and not all were promulgated to advance the best interest of the consumer/patient.
Let me hasten to add here that I would be dubious at best of a health care system that operated under pure market conditions completely without regulation. But isn’t it also possible to have too much of a good thing?
If, indeed, the goal is more competitive (stipulating for a moment that 1,200 insurance companies do not engender sufficient competition) and less expensive health care coverage, perhaps the best reform would be the modification or elimination of some existing regulations, not the addition of another layer.
Two items that come most readily to mind are tort reform and elimination of the barrier to buying health insurance across state lines, though the list certainly does not end there. This approach, happily, would also conform to President Obama’s stated desire not to “accept the status quo as a solution”. The change created by taking a red pen to certain sections of our health care law could be just as drastic as appending chapters to it.