A Socialist Juices the Greed Machine

In a comment to this article in which I advocate abolishing the tax code monstrosity that favors employer-provided health insurance and instituting health savings accounts, someone with the username “markchrist” went off on a socialist rant. Actually that’s redundant. Socialists only can rant; they have no capacity for logical and reasoned arguments. In the rant, he or she wrote, “You (sic) “plan” is so obviously written and approved by the insurance industry. … bought and paid for for by the GREED MACHINE.”

Actually the health insurance industry likely would be terrified of this “plan” because it actually introduces competition. Companies, especially big ones, hate competition. It forces them to lower their prices and boost quality in order to try to win business. What company wants to reduce its profits and perhaps even go out of business, all in the name of competition?

The other day my new state representative, Virginia delegate Jim LeMunyon, in a telephone town hall observed that the airwaves are rife with car insurance advertisements like those of Geico. Car insurers know you can easily fire your current car insurer and switch to another one, so they do everything in their power to keep their prices as low and quality as high as possible.

But you rarely come across health insurer commercials. Why? Because you can’t fire them. Assuming you get your insurance through your employer – courtesy of the government program called the employer health insurance deduction – you’re stuck with them. They aren’t worried about losing your as a customer, so why should they cut their rates or boost quality?

They’re exceedingly comfortable in their government-protected, competition-scarce cocoon. Why would they want to see an end to the employer health insurance tax deduction, and the resulting boom in people shopping around for the best rates?

The same holds true for hospitals, medical practices, and other healthcare providers. The notion that they would have to start to actually compete for your business by lowering their prices must be a terrifying notion for them indeed.

So no, Mr. Socialist, this plan isn’t bought and paid for by the insurance industry. Just the opposite. Through your support for employer-provided health insurance, ironically it’s folks like you who are making the insurance industry as pleased as punch. You’re satiating their greed. But being a socialist, you’re not able to figure that out.