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Monday, December 28, 2009

How To Strip US Health Insurance Companies of Their Power Forever in 1 Easy Step

Health Insurance in the U.S. Sucks!

If you support a "public option," single payer system, and/or the Democrats' health bills in Congress, you probably believe that health insurance companies have too much power and not enough competition to keep prices low and quality high. You are absolutely correct.

Health insurance is too expensive, not enough people have access to it, and insurance companies bail on their customers and deny them the coverage they paid for at the worst possible times. Something has got to be done!

But Why?

But let's examine the root causes of these disorders in the market for health insurance to see if a public option is really the solution.

It seems as if the health insurance companies can charge whatever they want, bully their customers around when they have legitimate claims, and set all the terms of insurance contracts. Why is that?

The most important reason is that Americans cannot buy health insurance across state lines. States prohibit the purchase of health insurance that does not comply with their state regulations.

Regulations Empower Insurance Companies

These regulations usually consist of a long list of ridiculous coverage mandates that require customers to be covered for all kinds of things whether or not they want or need it.
So even if a woman in Maryland doesn't want to pay $500/month to be covered for in-vitro fertilization, morbid obesity treatment, smoking cessation, substance abuse, and hair prosthesis, she has no choice.
And she can't purchase more affordable insurance without any unnecessary coverage from another state because it would be non-compliant with Maryland's regulations and mandates.

Robbing You to Enrich Corporations
The reason states do this is to provide kickbacks of money to their campaign donors in the insurance industry without overtly raising residents' taxes- a corrupt and vicious policy.
So the reason health insurance companies have so much power and are so corrupt, is not an unregulated, dog-eat-dog market for health insurance, but a tightly regulated and controlled market- a government-protected cartel for health insurance.
If there were a way to put an end to this disgusting situation in one fell swoop- it would immediately make health insurance far more affordable, a better fit for people's real needs, and a quality industry that works hard to please its customers.

The Solution in One Easy Step:

And there is such a way! The U.S. Congress merely needs to pass a bill prohibiting the states from requiring residents to purchase health insurance from within their state and according to state regulations/mandates.

The beautiful thing is it doesn't take a whole lot of words to say this, certainly not thousands of pages! It's a simple, elegant, and profoundly effective solution.

A Constitutional Health Care Reform

It's also Constitutional. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution says Congress has the power to: "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes. [emphasis mine]"
This Commerce Clause has been misused for decades as the justification for sweeping Federal powers that clearly do not fall under the scope of the clause.
In Wickard v. Filburn for instance, the Supreme Court ruled that even wheat grown on one's own land for one's own consumption can be regulated under the category of interstate commerce because it affects interstate commerce(!).
Yet in the instance of health insurance, we have a perfect example of exactly what the Founding Fathers wanted the Federal Government to be able to prevent states from doing- interfering with trade across their borders.

The Result:

If Congress were to pass this one piece of simple legislation on just a few short pages, it would create revolutionary changes in the provision of health insurance and grant millions access through more affordable prices.

If an insurance company in Connecticut charges too much or has a reputation for bullying its customers when they need coverage, then its customers can leave and buy insurance from a more affordable, less corrupt insurance company based in Nebraska.

A Free Market Health Care Reform

This way companies will truly be forced to compete with each other for once. They will have to provide good service at affordable prices or they'll lose customers and go out of business. No more hiding behind state lines and corrupt state laws.
And that's how to end the monopolistic power of the insurance companies quickly, cleanly, and without diminishing our civil liberties or adding to the already insane national debt. It's a non-partisan solution that members of both party can agree to. Who's with me?

Take action

E-mail this article's web address to as many people as you know! Educate your friends and family. If you want to strip the health insurance companies of their monopoly power, then you must empower yourself with knowledge and solutions!

Also share a link to this article across various social media if you're web-savvy: Facebook, Twitter, and Digg would make a good start!

Last of all, send this article to the people who need to read it the most: your Congressman and Senators!


  1. I also wonder if it will be necessary to break the tie between employment and health insurance. How about employer provided health insurance but then giving a refundable credit to buy insurance?

  2. Absolutely, Anthony! That would be number two (if not number one) on my list of solutions to our ailing healthcare system.

  3. clarify- I agree with your identification of employer-based insurance as a major problem. I'm not sure about your solution. I might prefer a reform of some of our tax laws to remove the perverse incentives that create this problem.

  4. This article is absolutely ridiculous. Buying insurance across state lines doesn't guarantee the best insurance practices, it guarantees the worst. The cheapest, WORST insurance is what people will be buying. This is corporate policy dressed in populist rhetoric...very clever "libertarians". What a joke.

  5. Why is that? Why will this policy result in worse insurance?

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