Reid’s Bill Could be the End of Private Insurance

December 26th, 2009 at 3:00 pm | 13 Comments |

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The left blogosphere is denouncing Obamacare as a triumph for private insurers. But Robert Book of the Heritage Foundation argues that it is much more plausible the operations of the plan will extinguish the private insurance industry.

The Senate bill would force private plans to spend a minimum amount on paying medical claims and tax excessive premiums.  The tax on those premiums however would not count towards the limits.

As Robert Book explains:

It would be very easy for regulators to become to develop a plan “with a minimum benefit package that is high enough (say, ailment above $8972 in average claims) that makes it literally impossible for health plans to break even, let alone make a profit.

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13 Comments so far ↓

  • teabag

    Reid’s Bill Could be the End of Private Insurance


  • mbilinsky

    Reid’s bill COULD be the end of private insurance. However, Reid’s bill is more likely to be the end of abusive and wasteful practices by private insurance companies that shortchange consumers and health care recipients while enriching insurance executives. But people at the Heritage Foundation don’t get paid for entertaining those hypotheticals so I’m not surprised by the one put forth by this post.

  • aDude

    The most important thing to watch for in the conference committee will be how the issue of the private insurance exchanges operate. If they are operated on a state by state level, then there will be essentially no change. (The health insurance companies own the state insurance regulators in most states). But if the exchanges are operated at the Federal level, then they could provide real competition.

    In either case I don’t think this will lead to the end of private insurance companies. But exchanges that are regulated at the Federal level (which means they can operate across state lines regardless of the state insurance regulators) will cause private insurers to clean up their act (both ethically and financially). I’ve had a number of health insurance companies as clients over the years, and the amount of waste that goes on there is enormous. Competition is always a good thing.

  • COProgressive

    The S&I insurance industry skims 30% of each healthcare dollar for the simple (not so simple, ask any patient or doctor) function of paying for healthcare services. 30% for a money changer is an outrage for a middleman in a transaction and they provide NO HEALTHCARE.

    We need to put a stake in the heart of the predatory, obsolete, expensive, yearly S&I Insurance industry. Let it go the way of the Buggy Whip and Slide Rule industries!

    We need to stop thinking of healthcare as insurance and start thinking of healthcare as a Trust Fund we leave to our posterity.

    “I still don’t get how my health care should be controlled by a system that was invented to compensate shippers for losses incurred due to storms and pirates.” – RUCerious – Think Progress dot Org

  • vernachase27

    Very nice article about medical insurance industry. But you could get medical insurance for your entire family at the best price from if you spent few mins you can find a good plan.

  • mthen

    This is what youre left with Frum. Your site has failed utterly and completely to do anything else than entertain left-wingers. Close up shop.

  • advocatusdiaboli

    As well-meaning as Mr Frum is in trying to build a good solid intellectual conservative site, he has been stymied by the paucity of solid intellectual analysis and argument coming from the right these days and so has to reach in the “looney bin” for material too often. It is indeed hurting his site. An good example is the comment above mine: if an editorialist or commenter is not vitriolic enough in denying any possible merit in anything those labeled “left” or “democrat” do, then the extreme rabble zealots who control the voice of the party deem them merely entertaining the left and they are judged to have no validity nor purpose. David, you cannot appease these zealots, you must take them on or you will become the American conservative equivalent of Robspierre–you will do their dirty work and in turn be a victim of it in the end. Mr Frum, light a candle–don’t walk in their darkness..

  • PracticalGirl

    “The Senate bill would force private plans to spend a minimum amount on paying medical claims..”

    So? Conservatism needs to stand for something other than feeding outrage over a businesses being asked to deliver its service-as promised- to its customers.

  • mthen

    advocatusdiaboli While you know nothing about my political views your post goes to further my point. Nine out of ten posters on this site are from the far left of the democratic party. They come here because Frum will often validate their views with the added bonus of getting to berate him when he differs from their views.

  • PracticalGirl


    Deal with the issues, then, if you don’t like the responses.

    Do you object to the fact that the government may be regulating the minimum amount of services-for-purchase a consumer can expect? Do you realistically think this will affect more than a small percentage of insurance companies? Do you think anybody would be having this conversation if the the companies had a primary fiduciary responsibility to their customers instead of to its shareholders and officers?

    How have Conservatives helped stem the health care costs-both insurance and provider- in the last 10 years? Which conservative ideals have prevented any serious action on spiraling health care costs? Which Conservative provisions were advanced (and supported) by the GOP?

    A few posters on this site seem to want to simply emulate talk show politics, which are emotion based, and devoid of practical solutions that are grounded in reality. Put something forth, and debate it on its merits. Slinging around the “lib” label at David, his contributors and the posters, is a great release for you but makes no salient point. Do you have any?

  • mthen

    Yawn. Its as I said. In this case as of the above post literaly 9 out of 10 posts are lefties.

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