It has been over 50 years since this writer attempted to make aliving selling health and life insurance as a licensed Floridaagent. In the two months I held that job I managed to sell onepolicy, but the underwriters rejected it for “pre-existingconditions.” At the time, I knew quite a bit about healthinsurance, but little of it is the same in the 21st century.

Instead of a private, regulated medical insurance industry, wehave state-by-state regulated health insurers and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of2010 (ACA), a federal program reviled as “Obamacare.” Wheresomeone is insured under their employer's policy, disputes aresubject to federal, not state, courts as such policies fall underthe Employers Retirement Income Securities Act(ERISA).

The ACA was supposed to be tied to the federally mandatedMedicaid program, which would assist state pools in providinginsurance for those who couldn't buy health insurance in themarket. Many states refused federal funds to accept this support,and the whole concept fell apart. While nobody is still talkingabout “death squads” that would select who got life-saving care andwho didn't, the complaints were about high premiums and the“mandatory” coverage requirement.

Will Congress do 'something'?

It is doubtful that any new health insurance legislation will beproduced by Congress this fall. What is the holdup? Basically,Congress can't seem to understand one of the basic tenets ofinsurance, that to make a risk insurable, there must be a largenumber of homogeneous exposure units.

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