You report that under Sen. Hillary Rodham Clintons reform plan, individuals would be allowed to keep their current health insurance policies if they want to (Clinton health plan, take two Sept. 24, p. 12). Though Clinton has made that statement often, the actual plan reveals that it isnt true. The plan establishes rules that all insurers must follow. Here are a few: Excessive premiums will not be allowed. That sounds good until you realize that limits on what your health policy can cost become limits on how much is in the pot to take care of you when youre sick. On the other hand, your policy must include coverage for preventive services that experts deem necessary. If you currently have a high-deductible policy covering only large expenses such as a hospital stay, youll have to change. Insurers will have to stop giving price breaks to young adults. The Clinton plan espouses shared responsibility. Right now, in California a 25-year-old man can buy a $1,000 deductible policy for one-quarter as much as a 55-year-old man has to pay. Not under the Clinton plan. Your ability to choose private insurance, rather than a government program, may not last long. The Clinton plan empowers government to limit insurance profit margins. Going after the most unpopular industry in America sounds good, but once margins are limited, investors will flee to other industries, and private health insurance will become a thing of the past.
Betsy McCaugheyAdjunct senior fellow Hudson Institute Chairwoman Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths New York