Needed: A Real Market For Health Insurance

In a presentation posted here Congressman Paul Ryan made a simple point that’s not made often enough (it was the first time I’d heard it put so clearly).

His comment – yes, we do need health care reform – but the reason we do is because government policies have screwed up the system. The worst path to take would be to give the ones who screwed it up control over the entire thing!

The above title is from Grace-Marie Turner’s latest – here’s an excerpt:

[I]f we are to move toward a truly competitive market for health insurance, we must produce policy solutions that will help expand access to health insurance that provides a platform for true competition, allowing people to shop for health insurance that is portable and affordable…


There is plenty of money in the system now that could be more sensibly used to help millions more people obtain coverage. The key is the financing of health insurance. People who are uninsured most often make too much to qualify for public programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and don’t have the good, higher-paying jobs that come with health insurance.

We could start by providing help for those who are uninsured at the lower-end of the income scale – whether through refundable tax credits or another form of monetary assistance. And states could be provided incentives to open up their markets to more competition and less regulation in exchange for federal help in funding high-risk pools so people with pre-existing conditions can be assured coverage.

The core to a functional market is to allow choice and competition so people, not government bureaucrats, decide what kind of coverage works for them.

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