August 17, 2009
Senator Michael Bennet says that “health care reform must shift control from insurance companies to doctors, nurses and their patients.” If so, he should oppose the Democrats’ so-called health care “reform.” Insurance companies have too much control because politicians have handed it to them through tax laws that give preferential treatment to employer-provided insurance.
This punishes employees who buy insurance directly instead of settling for their employer’s insurance options. Hence, insurers cater to employers instead of patients. The Democrats’ proposals to mandate employer-provided insurance won’t solve this problem, but merely entrench it.
Worse yet, tax-discounted insurance has skewed demand in favor of excess insurance to cover routine and predictable expenses. If car insurance similarly covered oil changes and new tires, customers wouldn’t compare prices — they’d only ask if “it’s covered.” Demand and prices would soar, and insurers would wield too much power.
Senator Bennet should support ending a biased tax policy that that favors employer-controlled insurance over patient-controlled insurance.
This letter to the editor appeared in the Denver Business Journal on August 10, 2009.