This opinion article poses some very good questions on the topic...how can the 2 objectives on each side live together...just straight talk on the issue and a bit of visionary talent put in to words based on current economic trends and how health care is delivered and paid for...BD
As you may have heard, the U.S. Senate passed the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act yesterday. Once through the house, President Bush is expected to sign it. The law will have a huge effect on private health insurance—and may even hasten its demise.
If you, Joe Sixpack, get genetically tested and the results reveal that you’re predisposed to a bunch of different medical conditions, you’re likely going to run out at buy as much insurance as you can, and this new law will enable you to omit mention of your test results.
So, this is the nightmare scenario for private insurers:
- Everyone gets genetically tested.
- Every sick (or soon to be sick) person buys insurance, and subsequently racks up gi-normous medical bills.
- Insurers pay out the nose and are forced to raise premiums for everyone.
- Healthy people, feeling the sting of higher premiums, drop their coverage. (Their genetic crystal ball says they don’t need health insurance, anyway.)
- Insurers are left with a bunch of sick (read: expensive) policyholders (and are forced to keep enrolling them).
- Private health insurance goes belly-up.