Insurance commissioners tackle health care costs

MedSave Admin | May 26, 2008

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC.org) is holding a public hearing on May 30 in San Francisco focusing on controlling health care costs. The NIAC is a group made up of the top insurance regulators in each of the 50 states. The regulators are are aware that out-of-control health care costs makes the cost of health insurance out of reach of many Americans. Control health care costs, they reckon, and insurance will be more attractive.

While their logic is sound and their ambitions admirable, this proposed agenda raises some interesting questions:

1. When did insurance regulators get into the business of making insurance products more affordable? Assuming the commissioners believe that more stable health care costs lead to a more stable health insurance industry, then is there any independent economic basis for this position?

2. What makes the regulators think they can have an impact in controlling health care costs when every other political and economic force in our country, to date, has failed to do so?

3. In the event that the insurance regulators do come up with any ideas worth pursuing, and assuming that those ideas are plainly outside of the realm of insurance regulation, what power do they have to pursue reducing health care costs? Do the budgets and powers of state insurance departments allow them to get into the business of controlling health care costs.

We will stay tuned for reports from the hearing that are almost certain to be enlightening.

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