The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Finally! An Awesome Bill Passes the House...and Utah's Matheson Opposes

Today the House voted to repeal Obamacare 245-189 -- a larger margin than the passage of the behemoth a year ago -- with three southern Democrats joining all the Republicans in passing (also reflecting more bipartisanship than the original bill vote).

Contrasting to the 2,000 page quagmire, H.R. 2 was a simple 3 page bill. It fulfilled campaign promises made by the GOP and points to the seriousness the House--led by a promising new Speaker, John Boehner--is taking in their Pledge to America made prior to the November elections. It's a welcome fresh change to the unconstitutional tyranny of the old Pelosi-led Congress.

Yet with the perfect opportunity for Utah's Rep. Jim Matheson to put teeth into his dying so-called "blue dog" moderate coalition and kill the bill he proudly claims he didn't vote for (for further analysis read my post "The Untold Story of Matheson's Vote for Obamacare"), Matheson voted today against repeal.

In this past fall's Bruce Lindsey's Sunday Edition KSL televised debate with challenger Morgan Philpot, Matheson claimed their were "good parts" about Obamacare that should be preserved such as the prohibitions against denial for preexisting conditions:
I think we ought to keep the good parts and get rid of the bad parts....if you had a pre-existing condition before this became law, insurance companies could deny you coverage, to have health insurance coverage....If you repeal the whole law you're saying, "You know what, if you have a pre-existing condition, too bad."
While on its face pre-existing conditions sounds very simple and utopic for the insurance companies to cover, the mandate on insurance companies is a horrible portion of Obamacare, not at all good like Matheson asserts. Indeed the mandate is a severe overreach of the Federal government and destroys the very concept of insurance.

Insurance is designed for a group of citizens to pool collective risk of negative future events. Life insurance pools risk against future death, car insurance against future accidents, and earthquake insurance against the event that an earthquake would destroy a home. Furthermore, the pools are specialized allowing different rate payments based on higher risks. A septuagenarian pays higher life insurance premiums than a mid-lifer because risk is greater, while a driver with a clean driving record reaps better premiums than the driver with three moving violations.

By the Federal government reaching in and mandating insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions, in a single swath they have destroyed both the specialized pools of low risk health insureds vs. high risk and the risk of insuring future negative events since anyone can obtain insurance at any time. Thus, health insurance is destroyed. Coupled with the Individual Mandate portion of the bill, the pre-existing conditions portions Obamacare causes us to now share collective healthcare costs in a Socialisitic system with disregard to lifestyle choices.

Why would Matheson and the liberal Democrats want to destroy Health Insurance through this pre-existing conditions clause? Health insurance premiums have continued to skyrocket post-Obamacare passage as companies seek to brace against the wave of uninsureds with pre-existing conditions who will be added to their rolls at the whim of the uninsured. Eventually the healthy will seek escape from so-called "health insurance" because it will be many times cheaper for them to self-insure rather than be pooled with people with actual, rather than risk of future, catastrophic medical costs.

By exacerbating health insurance woes by adding a requirement for pre-existing conditions, Matheson masks his Socialistic tendencies as help for the needy. Matheson clearly has to be voted out of office in 2o12. And a new Utah Policy poll this week shows just this: a hypothetical matchup of Gov. Herbert vs. Matheson has Herbert winning 50%-40% (h/t Political Cornflakes).


Tom said...

Are there categories of pre-existing conditions you might be in favor of disallowing denial for, such as conditions diagnosed before the age of 5 (or 12 or 18 or 21)?

Would you be in favor of extending the window for previously covered conditions (via creditable coverage) from 63 days to not less than 6 (or 8, 12, 18 or 24) months, or shortening the maximum preexisting exclusion period from the 12-months defined by HIPAA?

nacilbupera said...

Tom: Such idea are welcome. The point is that the Constitution envisioned these ideas debated at state, not federal levels. Thus I am generally opposed to most any increased federal mandates regarding health insurance because the mandates have a net effect of restricting freedom and increasing healthcare costs.

Additionally, nothing is in place in the free market prohibiting insurance companies from offering PEC policies, particularly if consumers demand them and are willing to pay for the higher costs of those types of pools.

I don't really see any need at any level of government to extend PCC windows as COBRA is in place.