Archive for February, 2011

Accessible health insurance

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

As the Republican controlled House of Representatives eagerly tries to repeal ‘ObamaCare’,my friend Donna Dubinsky wrote  this opinion piece for the New York Times.  She argues that ‘the market for health insurance is broken, even for those who can afford it.”

She describes her own experience trying to obtain health insurance, echoing a theme that resonates with millions of our fellow citizens.  This description of the symptoms of our diseased health care system emphasizes the broken market.  Despite its flaws, ObamaCare at least prescribes some effective treatments to restore a healthy market for health insurance.

There are various attempts to overturn ObamaCare in the courts, since the Republicans cannot muster majority support to achieve this legislatively.

The best defense being a good offense, I would hope that progressives would mount a preemptive legal assault against the health care industry.  I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that there are grounds to argue that the industry interferes with interstate commerce (entrepreneurs cannot afford to leave their jobs to pursue inventions because health insurance is effectively unavailable to them as individuals).  It also seems to me an equal protection issue, as hospitals and health care are public accommodations, which charge more to the uninsured.

BTW, my prescription, first published three years ago calls for true competition in the market, by requiring insurers to publish price lists and accept all comers.