May 11, 2011: Drugs and government, computers vs. stethoscopes

May 11th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

LD 1333 and competition

Supporters of the latest health insurance bill, LD 1333, claim it brings competition into the insurance market. This is untrue. They assert their proposal will allow “market-based solutions” to the so-called problems with Maine’s health insurance industry. There cannot be any market-based solutions, because federal law exempts health insurance from the anti-trust laws that protect the very free market these so-called reformers say they want to promote.

Under the McCarran-Ferguson Act, health insurance companies can legally avoid competition. Ask the American Bar Association. McCarran-Ferguson allows insurance companies to control the price at which they offer policies and to engage in other anti-competitive practices. Insurers are even allowed to discriminate based on age.

If Maine eases health insurance regulation, that means it will be easier for insurance companies to avoid competing. In addition, we will be subsidizing insurance company profits to pay for insuring people whose coverage is currently mandated.

The supporters of LD 1333 say Idaho is an example of how to provide health care coverage.  Idaho has a higher percentage of people without health insurance and a higher poverty rate. Is that who we want to emulate?

Maine should not adopt legislation that claims to be pro-free market but is really anti-market, pro-subsidy and copies a state that does a poorer job of providing health care to its citizens. If legislators believe in a competitive market for health insurance, then they should first call for the repeal of McCarran-Ferguson.

Ross Ferrell


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Drugs and government

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