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Author Topic: A cautionary tale in healthcare reform - The New York Example  (Read 893 times)
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Monkey All Star Jr.
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« on: February 22, 2010, 06:10:17 AM »

A cautionary tale in healthcare reform

Two decades ago, New York passed a law requiring insurers to accept all applicants, even those with preexisting conditions. Now, premiums in the state are the highest in the nation by some estimates.

February 21, 2010|By Noam N. Levey

Reporting from Washington Spurred by heart-wrenching stories of sick people denied health coverage, the state of New York did what many of President Obama's critics say he should do now -- it passed a relatively simple law requiring insurers to accept all applicants.

Other states have taken similar steps, making narrowly targeted changes instead of trying to overhaul their whole healthcare systems.

But two decades later, New York's experience offers a cautionary tale: Making isolated changes to the complex medical insurance system can have unwelcome consequences.

Premiums in New York are now the highest in the nation by some measures, with individual health coverage costing about $9,000 a year on average. And nearly one in seven New Yorkers still lacks health coverage, a greater proportion than before the law was passed.

The state has become a victim of a dangerous dynamic in insurance markets. Laws allowing consumers to buy insurance at any time often saddle companies with a lot of high-cost customers.

That in turn drives up premiums, pushing away younger, healthier people who are vital to a functioning insurance system.

"You basically can't have a functioning insurance market if people can buy insurance on the way to the hospital," said Mark Hall, a Wake Forest University economist who studied New York's experience.

When then-Gov. Mario Cuomo signed New York's insurance law in 1992, many advocates believed the state was charting a path toward affordable, accessible healthcare. Cuomo called the legislation a "forerunner of what we'll [be] seeing nationally."


Was government able to control premiums in New York?

States already regulate insurance premiums. 

Why does Obama think the federal government can do a better job? 

Did the federal government do a better job of regulating banks?  S&L's? 

How are they managing Social Security and Medicare?

Obamacare doomed to fail?

What does the government do well?

All my posts are just my humble opinions.  Please take with a grain of salt.  Smile

It doesn't do any good to hate anyone,
they'll end up in your family anyway...
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