Faced with being driven to government-imposed extinction or government-enforced market protection, health insurers are acting rationally. And the Lexington Herald Leader is surprised.
This is really simple. “A market that offers real choices and price competition” is best for consumers and taxpayers, but not necessarily for insurers or a power-hungry government. A ban on “overcharging” higher risk classes of insureds works out for insurers, though, because they and their competitors will be mandated to spread the higher cost among their customers. Insurers aren’t seeing light, they are following political winds. Can’t blame them for that. They want to stay in business. Given the alternative, the market versus mandate debate isn’t even interesting to them any more. They just want to survive under the new regime.
As has happened every time government expands its role into healthcare financing, (see England, Canada, China, Medicare, etc.) consumers and taxpayers take the hit. The insurance industry will only become increasingly willing to go along with ObamaCare as they continue to receive assurances that their ox won’t be getting gored yet.
Gov. Steve Beshear has said a lot about his desire to expand dependency on government by signing more Kentucky children up on government-provided health insurance.
Legislators in Arizona have a better idea, which involves allowing insurance policies to be sold without unneeded state mandates, like alcohol abuse treatment.
Kentucky could also attract more insurance competition into the state by allowing insurers to exclude certain pre-existing conditions for up to twelve months, rather than the current six.
Gov. Steve Beshear’s Chief of Staff is all atwitter with the news that Site Selection Magazine has named Kentucky’s corporate welfare scheming as the fifth most prolific in the nation for 2008.
“Kentucky has been very aggressive in its economic development strategy under the leadership of Gov. Beshear, and this ranking demonstrates our work is seeing results,” said Chief of Staff Larry Hayes, who doubles as Kentucky’s Economic Development Cabinet Interim Secretary.
The press release sent out by the Cabinet for Economic Development accurately describes the “award” in its second paragraph as a measure of “state economic development agencies’ competitiveness.” That’s a lot different than the headline that proclaims Kentucky’s “economic competitiveness” as the fifth best in the nation.
In other words, this “award” suggests Kentucky has to dole out more tax incentives to companies to get them to invest here than nearly every other state does. We had to debunk a similarly misleading ranking only two months ago.
Sure would like to think Kentucky’s reporters will catch (and disseminate) the distinction. Continued cheerleading on this point would be highly inappropriate.
The state of Kansas has been posting public expenditures on the internet for over a year, so it seemed reasonable to expect their legislature to expand that same openness to their public schools.
No such luck.
The floor amendment that failed in the Kansas Senate consisted of the following language:
“From and after July 1, 2010, each school district shall maintain a secure internet-based check register to record the receipts and expenditures of the district. The check register shall be freely available and accessible to the general public.”
The Center for Fiscal Accountability has more.
In terms of transparency, Kentucky still can’t get to first base, much less peek into the vault of our secretive school bureaucracy. But it is good to see others making the effort and paving the way for the time when Frankfort allows itself to be dragged into the 21st century and out of the dark shadows of secrecy with the public’s money.