HB 241 is a bill everyone needs to pay attention to if for no other reason than that it will piss off some progressives and liberals, and aggravate the behemoths who have monopolized New Hampshire’s health insurance market for years thanks to progressives and liberals like Jeanne Shaheen.
If passed HB241 will allow a willing consumer and willing insurance carrier to contract on mutually agreeable terms for individual or group health insurance which is not subject to regulation by the (state) insurance commissioner, insurance mandates, or administrative consumer protection law.
Put simply, individuals or groups in New Hampshire would be able to buy health insurance from any provider anywhere (that’s anywhere) on whatever terms they can both agree on and the Insurance commissioner cannot stop you.
So how many insurers might want to get a piece of that action? And what would they be willing to offer given that they could customize plans for you and your needs without the cost burden of political and bureaucratic mandates to provide for things you neither need or want?
The addition of competition would make this kind of insurance cheaper and easier to buy than anywhere else. Getting a personal portable plan could become a reality. And if your situation changes, or you decide you are unhappy with the rates down the road, odds are good there are be dozens of alternatives for you to consider.
With those kinds of benefits, businesses small and large would consider New Hampshire as a place to set up shop. That means jobs. It also means commerce and revenue without more taxes.
So who would object to an unfettered free market for health insurance? People with something to lose. Big Insurers like Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim who I am told currently control 50% and 30% respectively of all in-State Health Insurance policies and the premiums. They are not going to want you to take your dollars anywhere else and they certainly do not want to have to change how they do business to keep yours.
What should be more interesting is that we can expect plenty of democrats to object to it as well which seems odd. This is an opportunity to put their boots on the necks of big business and big insurance at the same time, while standing up for the poor helpless consumer. Wait. That only works when it is the boot of a massively inefficient, cost-increasing bureaucracy. The progressives have supported the monopolization of the market in the state, and the takeover of it by the federal government. They are not going to just invite a free market experiment in cost reduction and increased access that could blow holes in their corporate socialist model of a few controlling the many.
Next thing you know nurse practitioners might be opening clinics all over the state to take advantage of these streamlined bargain insurers and even cash only customers. That kind of rampant low cost access to health care–without government–makes their eyes boil. (Do we have a bill for that yet, by the way? The nurses, not the boiling eyes.)
So we do need you to support the bill and if possible get to the hearing on Thursday. It will be crowded with Insurance lobbyists or "experts," and left wing cry babies who don’t want to see Jeanne Shaheen’s liberal legacy of scaring off competition ruined. Oh, and the insurance commissioner will probably be there as well. They won’t like giving up that kind of control to you "people."
So you aggravate a state bureaucrat, put it to a couple of huge insurance companies, who also happen to be beneficiaries of corporate-socialism, while making health insurance cheaper and more flexible. And it will actually create jobs in places other than government bureaucracies and big insurance companies. Democrats will hate it.
So who has the popcorn?
Docket (Hearing 2/3/11 LOB room 302 at 1:15pm)