In response to yesterday’s PriceWaterhouseCooper’s study showing that the Senate Finance bill would raise, not lower, health insurance premiums for Americans, M.I.T. economist Jonathan Gruber told the New York Times that the opposite was true.
But think about it for a minute. Imagine if the federal government announced that car insurers had to provide car insurance for any American that applied. Now imagine that the federal government also forced car insurers to charge everyone the same price for car insurance regardless of their driving history. So a texting teen with no driving record would pay the same car insurance rates as a 40 year-old accident-free housewife. A man with two drunk driving accidents would pay the same as … you.
Do you think these new regulations would cause your car insurance to go up, or down? Gruber says down. His reasoning:
Mr. Gruber, who helped Massachusetts with its effort to provide universal health insurance coverage, said that the industry report failed to take into account administrative overhead costs that he said will “fall enormously” once insurance polices are sold through new government-regulated marketplaces, or exchanges.
Insurance companies are gonna make up the difference, and more, in overhead savings? When was the last time a company had to comply with a completely new federal regulatory regime and at decreased overhead costs?
And speaking of Massachusetts, which enacted the same health insurance reforms that Gruber says will now reduce costs for the rest of the country, what happened to their insurance premiums.
Oh yeah … they skyrocketed.
Common sense wins again.