Seeking Liberty

Liberty is the Fruit from Which All Progress Grows

Mandated Madness

In all the fuss about the House Health Care “Reform” bill, we have failed to talk about one of the biggest drivers of health insurance costs in the nation today: Insurance mandates.

What insurance mandates do is force these small risk pools together in a negative way: When the risk pool for broken leg is combined with the risk pool for cancer, the risk pool is not more efficient, it is simply more risky. If the likelihood of a broken leg in a given year is 2%, and the likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer is also 2%, combining those risk pools does not result in a larger risk pool of 2%. Cancer and a broken legs are generally exclusive; that is to say, people who get cancer are unlikely to suffer a broken leg at the same time. So the risk index has grown from 2% to a combined 3.99% (after all, some people who break their legs will also develop cancer). The more mandates that are added, the more the insurer is required to cover, the greater the cost of the risk pool.

The financial risk pool is even more complex, but I’ll try to simplify it. Read the rest of this entry »

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