As John Lott points out, Baucus's bill forbids insurers from turning you down because of your pre-existing conditions. That means effectively that you're always insured -- whether you pay premiums or not. If you don't mind paying for the occasional emergency, you could simply drop your health insurance, saving thousands of dollars annually, and pay the statutory penalty instead. If you happen to get cancer or get pregnant, you can just buy insurance after it happens.Who knew? Maybe this really can bring down health care costs for lots of individuals.
The penalty under Baucus's bill is low, and it even phases in gradually over the first five years -- $0 in 2013, $200 in 2014, and on up to $750 in 2017 and thereafter.
This is why insurance companies, while supportive of President Obama's efforts generally, are upset about the Baucus bill. They have no problem with state compulsion so long as it works to their benefit, but Baucus's bill would probably increase the number of uninsured Americans by providing obvious financial incentives to game the system.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Gaming the Health Care System
David Freddoso of the The Washington Examiner explains how to game the system under the Baucus bill.