My health insurance policy, which is an actual "insurance" policy that insures me against catastrophic medical costs but leaves me with responsibility for day to day expenses, just became illegal. Over the last couple of years, I have documented my learning curve as, for the first time, I actually had an incentive to shop around for medical care, or to push back on doctors when I thought they are calling for too many tests and procedures. I have learned a lot about saving money, but all of this education is now for naught, as I will now be required to buy a pre-paid medical policy that leaves very little of the decision-making to my family and provides zero incentives for me to be cost conscious. Apparently, the operators of the US Postal Service and US military procurement felt they were better qualified to manage these cost/value trade-offs than I am.
Here, by the way, is my favorite quote from today, from Nancy Pelosi (who else):
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the health care legislation for its ability to "unleash tremendous entrepreneurial power into our economy."
Only if one considers rent-seeking to be entrepreneurship. There will certainly be a mad rush of special interests to Congress to get their pet procedure or drug included in national must-cover rules. I discussed this rent-seeking process, which used to have to proceed inefficiently state by state but now can be achieved single-source, here. Naturopath coverage, anyone? (already required under coverage rules in 4 states). Already a lot of so-called medical research is really just thinly disguised pleas to have a certain procedure in must-cover rules. For example, I wrote about one study:
In other words, the study surveyed a bunch of cosmetic surgeons. They were asked "should an expensive procedure you provide be covered by insurance." They all answered "Hell YES!" Anyone want to bet whether the funding for the study came from the company that makes the laser equipment?