The Guts To Get Rid Of McCarran-Ferguson
Over the last week I've been lucky enough to catch a story about an insurance company in Colorado denying insurance to a baby because the otherwise healthy child weighed in above the 95th percentile. I've read of insurance refused because someone weighed too little, denied to a woman, unless she agreed to sterilization, because she had a previous C-section. I learned victims of domestic violence in some states are considered uninsurable, "domestic violence" being an allowed preexisting condition in a few states. Add to that, within the last day or so, Guardian Insurance dropping a specific type of coverage altogether in order not to have to continue to cover the extremely expensive, long term, care of muscular dystrophy patient Ian Pearl.
In the face of this, it boggles the mind that some still have the strange notion that it's this administration, not the insurance industry, favoring death panels. The misplaced fear that the government, not the insurance industry, will take away our choice is something I fail see the rationale for.
It also confounds me, that while there is fear that those providing health care might get together to control costs, and of the government having some control of costs, there seems to be very little attention paid to the fact that the health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies are not beholden to Federal anti-trust laws, giving them a significant amount of state to state freedom, and in some cases almost total control of not only their own industry, but of the care givers and providers, the costs, and their client access or denial to any given treatment.
The Federal Trade Commission worries that cooperation among health care providers, though possibly beneficial to consumers, increases the bargaining power of hospitals and doctors. This concerns them because they fear price fixing. Yet the biggest fix of all has been in for some time, the health insurance industry fix. One major aid to that has been The McCarran-Ferguson Act, an act keeping the health care industry free from federal regulation as long as the states have some form of regulation. For reasons that at this point in time are not quite clear this act has never been repealed, even though it has clearly become a coercive tool of the insurance industry, benefiting only the health care industry and those who campaigns they donate to.Continued on the next page