Critical Condition

Danger Ahead

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: We are not out of the woods. It is wholly possible, and perhaps even likely, that the Dems will now turn to a limited version of health-care legislation designed and labeled as “insurance reform” — that is, sharp limitations on underwriting combined with guaranteed-issue and no-cancellation regulations.

In other words, no denial of coverage based on medical condition. This would yield a massive adverse-selection problem: No one would sign up for coverage until they developed expensive medical conditions. Even accident victims would be invited to sign up for “insurance” — shifting their known costs onto others — as they were wheeled into the emergency rooms. This, of course, would destroy the private-insurance sector, leaving only government to fill the void. Voila! Single-payer by stealth.

Public-opinion polls show overwhelming support for such regulations, and Republicans in Congress would be hard-pressed to oppose them. But oppose them they must, for this path would lead inexorably to the nirvana of health-care socialism that the Left has been dreaming about for decades. It is our responsibility to provide congressional Republicans with the requisite education.

– Benjamin Zycher is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.

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