The individual market — which serves five percent of the population, and which is where the disruptions are happening — is a horror show. It’s a market where healthy people benefit from systematic discrimination against the sick, where young people benefit from systematic discrimination against the old, where men benefit from systematic discrimination against women, and where insurers benefit from systematic discrimination against the uninformed.
The point of an insurance market is that it is supposed to discriminate. Flood insurance is supposed to make you not build on a flood plain….unless it’s federal insurance of course. Crop insurance should be about what crop you’re growing where and when….unless it’s federal insurance of course.
And I’m entirely happy with health insurance, as long as it’s the Singapore/Brad Delong insurance. Actual insurance, based upon risk. I’m even just fine with single payer catastrophic insurance.
But keep in mind Klein’s part above. Yes, insurance, health insurance, it is supposed to discriminate against the old. And the sick. And, yes, if “insurance” is held to cover very stupid ideas like contraception and cervical smears, against women too.
No, neither of those are stupid ideas: only that insurance should cover them are.
But Klein reveals himself here as an ideological hack, not a reporter. Which is fine, of course, I too am an ideological hack: it’s just that I don’t pretend otherwise.