Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More mandated coverage for health insurance

I like my headline better: "Obama administration raises health insurance costs."

This week the New York Times wrote about the president forcing all health insurance plans to provide contraceptive services to women. But that's not all.

In addition to contraceptive services for women, the government will require health plans to cover screening to detect domestic violence; screening for H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS; and counseling and equipment to promote breast-feeding, including breast pumps.

Other preventive services that must be covered, without co-payments, include screening for gestational diabetes in pregnant women; DNA testing for the human papillomavirus as part of cervical cancer screening; and annual preventive-care visits.
The recommendations come from the National Academy of Sciences, which apparently does not include any experts in economic science:
The National Academy of Sciences said the Obama administration had told its experts not to consider “the cost-effectiveness of screenings or services” in deciding which ones to recommend. Insurers expressed concern that coverage for some of the newly required preventive services could be costly.
What an absolutely beastly thing to say.

How could the National Academy of Sciences agree to go along with such a perverse order? What they are focusing on is what actions will have any improvements on health. They are not considering what the costs of those actions will be, including any side effects.

When you make an insurance company pay for more things, they will always respond with raising rates. Those increases in rates will impoverish some people, and will push insurance just out of the price range of others. Those people will be harmed, but they will not know what drove the prices up. Those people are invisible.

But the people helped by the policy will be easy to spot. They will end up in campaign ads. They are visible, and the visible always have the upper hand in politics.

There are two results that will absolutely happen as a result of this increased coverage mandate:

1: Health insurance rates will increase.

2: Those increases will be blamed on the insurance companies who have no choice but to follow the law. The administration will not be blamed or accept any responsibility.


  1. And "rich" people, not "paying their fair share".

  2. I don't blame Obama for telling the National Academy of Science to not consider the cost affects by virtue of the fact you pointed out - they have no experts in economics.

    The problem lies in whether or not he consulted any other agency to consider the economic side separately. I don't know if he did or not.

  3. What about mens health? Don't men have health needs? Who is going to pay for my birth control needs?

    I feel discriminated against!