I have seen many diaries on this site speaking out against the evils of insurance companies who will not insure people with pre-existing conditions. What I can't figure out, is why people are so surprised at this, and what they think a solution to this would be. Insurance companies exist to make money, and they have elaborate data on how much they have been required to payout to clients with similar conditions. They have mountains of data, so you would have to suspect that if they believe that insuring a particular client would be unprofitable for them, it is. Requiring them to insure the people they have previously denied, at anything under exhorbinant premiums will net out to a loss for them. As an analogy, it would be the same as requiring banks to loan money to anyone asking for it, if the person asking for the loan could prove the money would be used to save or prolong their own life.
I don't see an easy solution for all of this that doesn't effectively move the burden of medical costs from people who are typically healthy, to people who are typically sick. But let's see if anyone on this site can come up with a creative solution, here are my first three tries.
- Eliminate private insurance entirely, make all insurance government run, and come up with a system that everyone can agree upon. Alright, this one is a little extreme (and difficult to implement) but under the assertion that healthcare functions as infastructure (which it does to some extent) and as infastructure is something that should be handled by the government like roads and public safety. Since insurance organizations offer a strictly financial service, there is nothing to be gained through innovation, whatever profits that they create must come from the individuals they provide services to (the mechanic functions similarly to a zero-sum game)
- Separate the 'catastrophic' portion of insurance from routine medical insurance, and make the catastrophic insurance government funded or require all insurance organizations to take all comers. This accomplishes the benefit that insurance is supposed to provide to consumers in the first place. All other types of insurance (car insurance, fire insurance, home-owners insurance) are structured to provide their owners with support in the event of a catastrophic but unlikely occurance. The benefit to the consumer is the aggregation of risk across a pool of similar applicants. Once the two types of health insurance are separated, health care costs should come down as people with only catastrophic insurance come to see more procedures as optional.
- Require insurance organizations to implement FM Global style insurance policies, where they review the health of each client and offer premium reductions based on lifestyle choices (FM Global insures organizations, and they offers reductions in premiums based on equipment upgrades, for example replacing old boliers) This would increase personal health as well as providing a non-financial purpose for insurance organizations. More healthy people would mean more people they could profitably insure.
Alright, that's all I've got. Now it's your turn.