Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Insurance Reform: Big Government Creeps Forward

Today we are likely to move a group of bills called "Individual Market Insurance Reform". It is a rather complex issue. Bottom line is, it will give more advantages to Blue Cross - Blue Shield in the Individual Market (insurance for groups of one). BCBS is a "not-for-profit" and does not have to pay state taxes. In exchange, they have agreed to become the "insurer of last resort". If you need insurance and no one else will cover you, BCBS HAS to. And the rate they can charge is somewhat regulated.

There has been much discussion about this package and it is likely to sail through the House today, but on the basic 'core principle' question of "is this more government or less government" or "does this move us toward more competition or less competition, more free market or more centralized-single-payer insurance, run by the government, in my opinion, it is the latter.

This package will lead not to lower, more competitive rates, but most likely towards higher, less competitive rates. You can read the bills at http://www.michiganvotes.org/. Enter the bill numbers 5282, 5283, 5284, 5285. I invite anyone in the insurance or health-care business to review the package and weigh in with your opinion on this legislation.

In closing, one must ask the question, considering the significance of this legislation, and the assumption that a full-time legislature has plenty of time to deliberate over and review every bill, why did this fly through committee in one day, only three legislative days after being introduced? What is the big hurry?

1 comment:

Matt said...

I can answer your question at the end in one word: KICKBACKS, BABY! OK, that was two words. I know how all of this works as I am in bottom-level management in a large corporation. I do lots of favors for someone and my return is more influence and maybe some extra work for my team of contractors. Yay for payola!