(p. A13) How do we get to a competitive market? The tax deduction for employer-provided group insurance, which has nearly destroyed the individual insurance market, is a central culprit. If we don’t have the will to remove it, the deduction could be structured to enhance competition and the right to future insurance. We could restrict the tax deduction to individual, portable, long-term insurance and to the high-deductible plans that people choose with their own money.
More importantly, health care and insurance are overly protected and regulated businesses. We need to allow the same innovation, entry, and competition that has slashed costs elsewhere in our economy. For example, we need to remove regulations such as the ban on cross-state insurance. Think about it. What else aren’t we allowed to purchase in another state?
For the full commentary, see:
JOHN H. COCHRANE . “What to Do About Pre-existing Conditions; Most Americans worry about health coverage if they lose their job and get sick. There is a market solution.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., AUGUST 14, 2009): A13.