Vaccines and Insurance

Phil Plait trumpets the idea of raising insurance premiums for those who do not vaccinate their kids. While it’s a good idea — and justifiable — it simply will not work and a principle reason it won’t work is Obamacare.

For one, most people get their insurance through their employer, a link Obamacare strengthens rather than severs. This has the advantage of diffusing risk and keeping insurance rates constant even for those with serious medical issues. But it means you can’t tweak the rates like this.

For another, I’m sure someone will argue that being unvaccinated is a pre-existing condition. So you’d not only have to allow insurance rates to be varied like this, but to have Congress micro-manage the insurance industry by declaring that being unvaccinated is not a pre-existing condition.

For a third, Obamacare, by mandating insurance coverage for children, essentially removed child-only policies from the market. In most states, it’s now impossible to buy health insurance that only covers your children. It’s simply not economically feasible when people can wait until their children are sick to buy insurance.

That leaves federal plans like Medicaid and S-CHIP as the only option. And if you think a political class that can’t even dispute the vaccine-autism link for fear of offending someone will pass this into law … well, I’ve got some Central Pennsylvania beachfront property you’d just love.

Such are the fruits of getting the government ever more involved in our lives.