Politically-controlled insurance is a disease

The Rocky Mountain News has published a letter (print version) to the editor I submitted last week:

Healthcare Reform Commission Chair Bill Lindsey’s comments show that he either misunderstands why insurance is so expensive or deliberately misrepresents fundamental issues (“Mandatory health plan participation opposed,” Jan. 10).

He wants to force Coloradans to buy politically-defined insurance because “the market for health insurance isn’t working.” But as my free-market proposal to the Commission explains, it’s not working because government controls have crippled it.

Federal tax policy deeply discounts employer-provided insurance. This locks us to our employer and the costly insurance plans they offer. Hence, insurance companies need not please us, as they know we must change jobs to buy a competitor’s product.

Mandated benefits laws force us to buy expensive policies with benefits we may not need. For example, a widowed wife must buy a policy that covers marital therapy, prostate cancer, and maternity. In Colorado these and other controls add between 20% to over 50% to premium costs.

Politically-controlled medical insurance is a disease masquerading as its own cure.

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