Magazine August 24, 2009, Issue

Adam Smith for Sick People

(Roman Genn)
Conservatives should address the plight of those with preexisting conditions

 

There’s a phrase that comes up a lot more when liberals talk about health-care policy than when conservatives do: “preexisting conditions.” It’s one of the trickier problems of our current system of financing health care. Let’s say that you get a long-term illness — like cancer, or diabetes — and then lose your job. How do you get insurance again? What rational insurance company is going to want your business?

Liberals have a simple-sounding solution to the problem: Make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate based on preexisting conditions. In a recent e-mail from the White House to its supporters, …

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Three Strikes

How can Washington have spent so much time debating health care and still have failed to come up with a reasonable reform? By starting from the wrong premises. There are ...
Politics & Policy

Catching Up to Mexico

California’s financial unraveling has prompted a long-overdue debate about taxes, regulation, and government spending, but the state’s media and government continue to ignore what could be an even greater problem: ...
Politics & Policy

Obamaniacs On the Couch

This is going to get very Freudian, but please bear with me.   In psychoanalytic terms, the Self has a narcissistic need to form a relationship with something called the Self-object. That ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Afghan Postcards

Roman Genn, whose illustrations have long brightened the pages of National Review, embedded himself with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, at Forward Operating Base Gulistan in Farah Province, central Afghanistan. ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Pass This Test

George Gilder is a phenomenon. With a restless and questing mind, he has written books on feminism, capitalism, technology, and other topics. These books are absorbing, provocative, and somewhat original. ...
Politics & Policy

American Ajax

  Almost every aspect of the Dr. Strangelovian image surrounding Gen. Curtis LeMay was in some way misleading. The tough-guy cigar provocatively dangling from his mouth had little to do with ...
Politics & Policy

True Love

  Hollywood rarely produces effective love stories for men. I don’t mean a romantic comedy that some men might find themselves liking, if dragged to the theater by their wives — ...
City Desk

Years of Upheaval

Getting a city apartment painted is a trial for several reasons. The rent laws encourage city-dwellers to stay put; over the years our possessions accumulate unwinnowed. The crampitude of our ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Policy Paternity Michael Cannon’s piece on the Massachusetts health program (“Romney’s Folly,” August 10) creates the impression that Gov. Mitt Romney and the Heritage Foundation wanted to impose a coverage mandate ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ First the president called him stupid, then he had to have a beer with Joe Biden. Hasn’t Officer Crowley been punished enough? ‐ “I have immortal longings in me,” said ...
Politics & Policy

A Gull

As passive as a dune, I offer up my breast, Nestling toward the sun, Accepting from the west What I am only owed. Who cares if you should fade? Warm me, sinking god: For me the world ...
Happy Warrior

Ethiopia Comes to You

The intersection of the environment and demography continues apace. In the old days, we worried about “overpopulation” in general, which, if only by implication, indicted the fecund mothers of Asia ...

Most Popular

Culture

Our Real Systemic Problem

America’s got a problem that’s systemic in nature. This problem has less to do with individual intentions than the structure within which our intentions are formed. That structure explains a great deal about observed disparities in wealth, and other advantages, between various racial and ethnic groups. It ... Read More
Culture

Our Real Systemic Problem

America’s got a problem that’s systemic in nature. This problem has less to do with individual intentions than the structure within which our intentions are formed. That structure explains a great deal about observed disparities in wealth, and other advantages, between various racial and ethnic groups. It ... Read More
World

China’s Pandemic Deception

You’ve made it to December in our annus horribilis. On the menu today: sorting through CNN’s fascinating but not completely illuminating bombshell involving leaked documents from the Hubei, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, filling in some details about the early days of the pandemic. More ... Read More
World

China’s Pandemic Deception

You’ve made it to December in our annus horribilis. On the menu today: sorting through CNN’s fascinating but not completely illuminating bombshell involving leaked documents from the Hubei, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, filling in some details about the early days of the pandemic. More ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Cinderella Man 2

Welcome to “The Tuesday,” a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, and, this week, film criticism. To subscribe to “The Tuesday” and receive it in your inbox as God and John Wayne intended, please follow this link. The Mona Lisa of Hillbilly Literature The Ron Howard film Hillbilly Elegy, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Cinderella Man 2

Welcome to “The Tuesday,” a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, and, this week, film criticism. To subscribe to “The Tuesday” and receive it in your inbox as God and John Wayne intended, please follow this link. The Mona Lisa of Hillbilly Literature The Ron Howard film Hillbilly Elegy, ... Read More
Elections

How Trump Could Have Reacted to the Election

It was predictable, and widely predicted, that Donald Trump would respond to an election loss, particularly one by as narrow a margin as this, with claims of fraud, efforts to delegitimize the outcome, and increasingly implausible attempts to find some lever to overturn it. Handling setbacks without grace or ... Read More
Elections

How Trump Could Have Reacted to the Election

It was predictable, and widely predicted, that Donald Trump would respond to an election loss, particularly one by as narrow a margin as this, with claims of fraud, efforts to delegitimize the outcome, and increasingly implausible attempts to find some lever to overturn it. Handling setbacks without grace or ... Read More