Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Henry Waxman was on The Daily Show tonight and he offered up these pearls...

They (the Democrats) want to fix the problems with health insurance, specifically keeping people from being rejected because of pre-existing conditions, losing their coverage when they get sick and having a lifetime cap on coverage... all while making it easy for people to get insurance.

Now how does he plan to reconcile the latter with the former, to square the circle? Congress can legislate the first three... which will increase the amount insurance providers pay out in benefits... which will lead to premium price hikes... which will make it harder for people to afford health insurance.

Does Waxman not know that health insurance companies are basically conduits through which money passes from patient to doctor, with the insurance company receiving a small percentage for keeping track of all the paperwork? If you mandate that health insurance must cover X and Y, then the costs of X and Y are going to be paid not by the health insurance carrier but by those buying health insurance. Put another way, if Congress mandates that health insurance covers more than it now does, or that sicker people can buy coverage at the same rates as healthy people, then health insurance is going to cost more... which, according to my thinking, sure doesn't make health insurance easier to buy.

Society may decide that everybody should pay so that somebody with a heart condition can get health insurance, and at a price no higher than paid by someone without a heart condition (akin to bad drivers getting auto insurance at the same rate as good drivers)... but that sure isn't the way Congress is putting it.

And it probably won't matter. The Democrats have the votes and the tumultuous town halls make great video but won't deter them from pushing ahead.