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Government Insurance Boards Define Fairness

Dan Barrett
May 17, 2010

Federal legislators feel they can ensure you get the best value for your health insurance premiums and are willing to put $255 million of our tax dollars toward the effort. S 3078 and HR 4757 propose to establish a Health Insurance Rate Authority to review "potentially unreasonable increases in rates for health insurance coverage, which shall include premiums", in other words the government wants to arbitrarily determine what is fair and what is not.  As many states already have their own commissions dictating rate changes, proponents say this is a fallback for those states and for other states that do not have such regulators – an umbrella our friends at the AFL-CIO endorses.  

If you are already a resident of such regulated states, why would you want two layers of regulation doing the same thing? If you are in a state without such government commissions, why would you want to give up your state's sovereignty, as it could just as easily create a system customized for your state's residents and economic situation? The way I see it, both questions are really asking if you think the federal government can make your insurance plans better. (Note: Google Medicare and 2017)

If we are going to further nationalize the “greedy” healthcare sector, why not target other companies doing well in the recession? Wal-Mart ($13 billion in profits), Johnson & Johnson ($13 billion), Procter & Gamble ($12 billion), and Google ($4 billion) have all profited while the economy stagnated or declined. As with all these companies and the health insurers, if you feel you are paying too much for a product, you have plenty of alternatives. Government should not be in the business of health when its own survival is parasitic on our economy.


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