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Ultimately, consumers foot the bill for insurance mandates

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: April 23, 2013

Mulready noted the bill also includes price controls; patients would pay no more than $100 for the chemo pill. In comparison, $150 to $200 co-pays are common for other specialty drugs. Given that, is it believable lawmakers won't soon attempt similar command-and-control economic regulation elsewhere — with predictable negative consequences?

Since 60 percent of Oklahomans work for self-insured companies exempted from the mandate, Mulready noted the bill's impact would be “solely on the backs of small businesses.” He even compared the bill to Obamacare, saying it was based on the same “overreach of government.”

“We are stepping in and we're telling the small businesses in our state, ‘No. We know better than you do,'” Mulready said. “‘We are going to take choices away from you. You cannot choose to have a plan where your cancer drugs are covered under your medical plan in order to save 1 percent in premium.'”

Derby's main rebuttal was to note Mulready is an insurance agent. Actually, that's reason to pay attention to Mulready's opinion of an insurance bill.

Instead of reducing prices, SB 765 would shift costs and restrict consumer choice. No matter what, consumers ultimately will pay the price. This bill is a good idea only if you believe politicians know more about structuring and pricing insurance policies than the private market — excluding lawmakers with actual subject-matter expertise. Apparently, SB 765's proponents think those guys should just keep quiet.

Fortunately for free-market conservatives, Mulready is talking.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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