Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WSJ.com - Whoa, Trigger

WSJ.com - Opinion: Whoa, Trigger


The latest political gimmick is the notion of a "trigger" for the public option: A new government program for the middle class would only come on line if private insurance companies fail to meet certain benchmarks, such as lowering overall health spending or shrinking the number of the uninsured.


Liberals should love the idea because a trigger isn't a substantive concession… Democrats will goose the tests so that private insurers can't possibly meet them, mainly by imposing new regulations and other costly burdens.


Keep in mind that every version of ObamaCare now under consideration essentially turns all private insurers into subsidiaries of Congress. All coverage will be strictly regulated down to the fine print, and politics will dictate the level of benefits as well as premiums, deductibles and copays.


The [House] bill also rewrites the 1974 federal law known as Erisa that lets large and mid-sized employers offer insurance with little regulation. Many businesses are finding innovative ways to drive down spending, largely with worker incentives to live healthier and be more sensitive to the costs of care. Many Democrats call this discriminatory.  In the individual insurance market, Democrats intend to outlaw medical underwriting: Everyone must be charged the same rate or close to it for the same policies, regardless of health status or history.


ObamaCare doesn't bother with incentives, instead merely increasing government command and control of private insurance while making it more expensive in the process. That's why a trigger will inevitably lead to the public option, and also why ObamaCare will make all of our current health problems worse.




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