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By Quianta Moore

The statistic that health insurance is the No. 2 cause of death is quite shocking. Even if those numbers are exaggerated, any deaths caused by the stress and agony of dealing with insurance companies seems to defeat the purpose of health insurance. The article focuses on high deductible HMO’s, which made me think of McCain’s health plan. We did not fully address in class the consequence of allowing people/employers to purchase health insurance across state lines. If certain states are more “favorable” to insurers by not requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions, then most healthy people will choose to purchase insurance in those states because the plan will be cheaper. That leaves all the high risk sick people in the states that require coverage for pre-existing conditions. McCain proposes these states have a “high risk coverage” for the sick, but because the so called “community rating” will be based on all sick people the premiums will either be much higher or the deductibles will be higher or both. If the article is true, do we care that people are dying as a result of these policies? Also, who will pay for those who cannot afford these new deductibles/premiums? It seems like the states who require coverage for pre-existing conditions will ultimately be burdened with this high risk pool and have no incentive to continue to have laws that require coverage for pre-existing conditions. I guess eventually the healthy people then would be evenly spread out once no state requires pre-existing conditions, but how long will that take? Overall, I think it would be okay for people to purchase plans in the individual market, but the adverse selection problem really bothers me. Does anyone else see a solution to this problem?

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