It’s true, as Marie Cocco notes in a recent column, that Barack Obama’s health care plan wouldn’t provide true universal coverage. Because it does not include a mandate (except for children), it’s virtually guaranteed that some individuals wouldn’t sign up for coverage. On the other hand, I’m not sure how Cocco arrives at the following conclusion:
Obama’s plan explicitly includes a provision known as “guaranteed issue” that doesn’t let health insurance companies turn people away for health reasons. Here’s how his campaign website summarizes it:
Problem is, it’s not clear that guaranteed issue and other measures which prohibit insurers from accounting individual risk factors is really a good idea. One study last year found that states which had implemented both guaranteed issue and community rating, which prohibits insurers from taking age and gender into account, resulted in worse coverage overall, saying that:
In other words, there’s some reason to be skeptical that the sort of additional regulation of insurers Obama proposes will actually provide the promised results.