University of Kentucky professor Aaron Yelowitz’s commentary, “Insurance market collapsing,” begins with a fundamentally flawed example. He describes the dilemma of an individual who “expects” only $3,000 in medical expenses but must pay a premium that accommodates those who “anticipate” much greater expenses. Really? Who “expects” a random illness or accident? Certainly not my family members who confronted early cancer, heart problems and a disabling auto-immune disease.
Perhaps he ascribes to Gov. Matt Bevin’s belief that “having access doesn’t make you healthier …What makes you healthier is making good decisions.” Maybe in that world of magical thinking one can believe each of us can decide what to expect in future medical expenses.
Yelowitz goes on to say that the “free movement” of people among various plans makes it hard for insurance companies to price premiums, which caus es losses, which in turn leads companies to either raise premiums or just leave the market. However, this highlights the inherent conflict of interest insurers have between maximizing shareholder profit and providing cost-effective, comprehensive coverage. His commentary actually seems to make a rather compelling case for a single-payer system like Medicare, but I doubt that is what the associate director of the Koch-funded Schnatter Institute of Free Enterprise had in mind.