Disaster, as predicted

The problem with mandating coverage of pre-existing conditions is that it encourages people to sign up for “insurance” just when they need expensive treatment. And, as the Boston Globe reports, the problem is no longer hypothetical:

Thousands of consumers are gaming Massachusetts’ 2006 health insurance law by buying insurance when they need to cover pricey medical care, such as fertility treatments and knee surgery, and then swiftly dropping coverage, a practice that insurance executives say is driving up costs for other people and small businesses.

This is exactly what we predicted would happen in Massachusetts, and exactly what will happen nationwide under health care nationalization. Note that Massachusetts has an individual mandate, such like the new national regime:

The problem is, it is less expensive for consumers — especially young and healthy people — to pay the monthly penalty of as much as $93 imposed under the state law for not having insurance, than to buy the coverage year-round. This is also the case under the federal health care overhaul legislation signed by the president, insurers say.

Massachusetts is “fixing” the problem in the standard liberal way, by further restricting people’s freedom:

Governor Deval Patrick recently filed legislation that state regulators believe will help fix the problem, by restricting insurance enrollment to twice a year for people who buy on the open market.

Massachusetts residents will now be able to buy insurance only when the government says they can. And when that has an unforeseen consequence, they’ll come up with something else to restrict people’s freedom further.

Moreover, it doesn’t even solve the problem. Limiting when people can sign up for insurance doesn’t keep people from dropping it when they want, and even if they did force people to stay in a plan for a full six months, the extra three months of premiums would be no more than a drop in the bucket compared to what the ne’er-do-wells cost.

(Via Best of the Web.)

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