This morning, I ventured over to the Hill for a panel discussion on what (liberal) women want from health care reform. I lost count of how many times the different speakers made reference to the need for an “independent” body that is “separate from politics” to make health care decisions for the country. I couldn’t help but think that we already have that. It’s called the market.
Consumers would be better off if there weren’t so many needless regulations on the market for health care. For example, individual health insurance tends to be extremely costly. Critics love to point the finger at big, bad insurance companies for those prices, but several government factors are at play. For starters, it’s illegal to buy insurance across state lines, which reduces competition and raises prices. Tax incentives are also structured almost exclusively to benefit employer-provided insurance, which other than not making much sense in an increasingly mobile economy, contributes to higher prices in the individual insurance market.