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American taxpayers and state legislators now can discern how key components of President Bill Clinton's failed 1993 Health Security Act would have worked by examining the repercussions of a curiously similar program enacted in the state of Kentucky. In April 1994, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a measure that redefined the state's insurance market, created several new state bureaucracies, and altered the financing of health care for the poor. In many respects, the Kentucky Health Care Reform Act of 1994 is a smaller version of the Clinton Administration's discredited Health Security Act. Moreover, the Kentucky plan, like similar health reform plans in Minnesota and the state of Washington, affords a growing body of case studies that state legislators can use to see for themselves how specific regulatory interventions may affect the efficient functioning of the health insurance market and the cost and access of health insurance for individuals and families.
The excessive regulation embodied in the Kentucky plan has sharply increased health insurance rates, has driven health insurance companies out of the state, and has threatened patient privacy. With each passing day, the crisis in Kentucky's health insurance market deepens and the need to fix the government's mistakes becomes more urgent. Thus far, 45 health insurers have left the individual health insurance market. George Nichols III, the state's Insurance Commissioner, recently remarked, "I think going beyond a year would destroy us."2 In the individual health insurance market, Kentucky Kare, the major plan that covers state employees and individuals, has lost $30 million during the past 20 months and continues to lose money at a rate that could exhaust its reserves in 19 more months.3
For state legislators around the country, Kentucky is a case study in how not to reform health care at the state level. For Members of Congress, developments in Kentucky demonstrate once again why the federal government should refrain from imposing ill-considered mandates on the private health insurance market.
originally posted by: bloodymarvelous
I saw something interesting happen in the trucking industry a bit ago. A new clean air technology emerged, called the DPF filter. Pugeot, I think, held the patent for it.
So what does the government immediately do? They pass a law requiring that every truck must have one. Pugeot, goes from having a patent monopoly on a clean air technology, to essentially having a patent monopoly on "the semi truck". Because you cannot build and sell a semi truck now without Pugeot's permission.
Trucks cost more than Ferraris now, and the payment on a new truck dominates the cost to do business for truckers.
I suspect something similar is happening in the healthcare industry. Every time a new, patented, test comes along, it becomes part of the mandated minimum coverage. You can get sued if you don't use it.
Or a new pharmaceutical.
If only you had an option whether to use the old tech, or the newest tech. Because in most cases, the old tech got the job done.