The single most popular health care idea emanating from the right is to allow Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines. What a stupid idea, making people buy insurance only within their own state!
[…]Now, think about this for a minute. I doubt her precise figure, but let’s grant the premise that young healthy people could save a lot of money from such an arrangement. Why is that? Is it that out-of-state insurance companies are that much more efficient? No, of course not — profit and overhead don’t account for anywhere close to two-thirds of insurance premiums.
The young and healthy would save money because they’d find an insurance plan from a state with very limited regulation. Say, those plans would operate in a state that doesn’t require insurance to cover any medical conditions that are unlikely to afflict a young, healthy 25-year-old. What happens is that the health care industry becomes like the credit card industry. Some small state realizes it can attract a lot of business its way by winning the race to the regulatory bottom.
So then, effectively, we’ve almost completely eliminated all regulations on health insurance. Conservatives will say that’s great. And certainly the healthy 25-year-old would be better off. But, of course, the effect of those regulations was to force insurers to cover medical conditions that older or less healthy people have. As a result, all the young healthy people have split, and costs on everybody else go up. The young and healthy are paying higher rates because of these regulations. But the same regulations let the old and sick pay lower rates — and they’re the people who have the biggest trouble buying insurance as it is. Allowing interstate sale of insurance isn’t just a non-solution, it’s a massive anti-solution, worsening all the problems of the status quo.
Got that? The whole point of socialized medicine is to force people to limit their choice of coverage to only in-state plans so that young people just starting their careers have to pay more for coverages that they don’t need. And retired people who have had all their lives to make money and save for their own health care get health care for less. The health care of the elderly needs to be subsidized via government-controlled wealth redistribution. Isn’t it amazing that young people vote so overwhelmingly for Obama?