Will The California Bureaucracy Learn?
Another “more government” health care solution…
Haynes] 8/8/05 theonerepublic
I really hate being right. Look at my past commentaries. On
September 21, 2004 (“Oops,
Government Does It Again”) and June 6, 2003 (“We’re
From the Government and We’re Here to Heal You”)
both predicted massive increases in health care premiums and
huge increases in the uninsured from continued regulation of
health care financing, principally regulation of health insurance.
the Insurance Commissioner, an advocate for socialized medicine,
wrote a report, which he called “Priced Out,” showing
that insurance premiums have increased 61 per cent, and the
number of uninsured has increased to 6.6 million Californians.
He blames insurance companies for this.
Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside
and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and
Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website
at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]
He is particularly upset at one insurance company who offers
an insurance product to young people (18 to 30 year olds) with
reduced benefits, high deductibles and low premiums. The product
is wildly popular, giving young, healthy people protection against
major medical problems at a price they can afford. These younger
workers, who just last year were among the ranks of the uninsured,
are now insured, and the Insurance Commissioner is mad.
I thought being insured was good. Well, the report says that
those bad insurance companies are giving these workers a choice,
buy cheap insurance without pregnancy coverage if you want. That
is wrong, complains the Commissioner because those insurance
companies should require young, 25 year old single men to pay
for insurance coverage for pregnancy because young women get
pregnant. Those insurance companies are cherry picking their
customers, he claims, by getting these young, single (and usually
healthy) men to buy this cheap policy.
Who is he kidding? One of the choices that every worker has
is the choice to not be insured. If government raises the price
of health insurance, these young men will simply choose to spend
the money on their cars, and run the risk of getting really sick
and not being able to pay. Then, if the bills get too high, they
will just file bankruptcy, and you and I will eat the bill in
our insurance coverage.
Those are the choices. Forcing coverage on people
result in more coverage; it will actually result in no coverage
at all. More government regulation will continue to drive more
people to the ranks of the uninsured because it will price them
out of the market.
The recommendations of the Insurance Commissioner
to mandate gold-plated health insurance policies for everyone
to a government order that everyone own a Rolls Royce. Sure the
Rolls-Royce is a good car, but not everyone can afford one. If
the government ordered that every car look and work like a Rolls,
many people would have to go without a car, because the government-mandated
car would be too expensive. Those who can’t afford the
Commissioner’s mandated gold-plated health insurance policy
will simply go without insurance.
The Insurance Commissioner is correct when he says that the
number of uninsured in California has increased because the price
of insurance has increased 61 per cent in the last six years
in California. It is not greedy insurance companies that have
caused the increase, however. It is the number of health insurance
policy mandates (well in excess of twenty) enacted by government
that have increased the price, and thus increased the number
of uninsured. In California, we are all required to buy a Cadillac
health policy, or have no health insurance at all. Many have
chosen, for financial reasons, to have none at all.
The prescription for this problem by the Insurance Commissioner
is more government. Government created the problem with more
mandates, more regulation, and more bureaucrats. When will those
in government learn that more government cannot fix a problem
that more government created? CRO
Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.