Hit & Run

Does Genetic Non-Discrimination Mean Universal Government Health Insurance?

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The House of Representatives passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act yesterday in 420 to 3 vote. According to the AP:

The measure makes it illegal for a health plan or insurer to deny coverage or charge higher premiums to a healthy person based solely on a genetic predisposition to a disease. Similarly, an employer could not use genetic information in making hiring, firing or promotion decisions.

Fair enough. But what about people gaming the system? That is, I learn that I have some terrible genetic predisposition so I load up on gold-plated insurance at the same rate healthier people do. It has been argued that this sort of adverse selection could eventually destroy the idea of insurance protecting against unknown risks and leads inevitably to government health insurance.

However, one possible solution to this conundrum is a type of insurance in which rates are set on the basis of age-classes. Basically people sign up when they are young and rates are evened out somewhat over their lifespans. I believe that this is how health insurance works in Switzerland and Germany now. 

I look at some of these issues here and here.