Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hillary's War on Health Care

In Lewiston, Maine today Sen. Clinton referred to a time when she used her influence to get an insurance company to pay for a claimant's health care. It shouldn't take a senator to get them to do this, she argued. She called for a cap on insurance premiums yet paradoxically emphasized the importance of preventive care. Sen. Clinton desperately needs a lesson in basic economics.

Any doctor will tell you people can engage in their own preventive care through every day activities: eating healthier, exercising more, quit smoking, having regular checkups. But each of these things require initiative on the part of the patient, not the doctor, not the insurance company. But if we make it cheaper for those with insurance to ignore preventive care (by capping premiums), they won't be as interested in it.

Yet the very companies Clinton demonizes have that incentive. Non-smokers get a better insurance deal than smokers. Those in better shape get a better deal. Companies already reward those who engage in preventive care because they know such people are cheaper to care for. Despite what the Senator suggests, these firms keep their promises and they pay up often. It doesn't take a senator to get them to keep their promises. It does, however, take one to get a company to go beyond their promises and pay for another's mistakes or bad luck. With all the politicians wanting to gut these firms, it's a wonder that anyone stays in this business at all.

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