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Monday, November 30, 2009

Small Biz Health Care Daily: About Those Insurance Exchanges …

Heading into the Senate debate, a November 29 report from stated: “The concept of creating an online marketplace where consumers can comparison-shop for healthcare hasn’t been very controversial.” If they are not controversial, government-established insurance exchanges should be.

These insurance exchanges are not about allowing consumers to comparison shop. After all, they can do that now – subject to limitations from government.

Instead, insurance exchanges are about government mandates and regulations. Back in May, an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation mentioned in passing that one of the powers of insurance exchanges would be “establishing common rules regarding the offering and pricing of insurance.”

Translated? Government sets what services are offered and at what prices.

In the end, insurance exchanges would not be about expanding choices for consumers – including small businesses – but reducing options due to the increased costs of more mandates and regulation.

Combine insurance exchanges with government-run health care plans – the so-called “public option” – and the eventual result will be fewer private choices, and more and more individuals on government plans. That translates into government having more control over health care decisions, and taxpayers facing ever-mounting costs.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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