On the theory that it’s easier to sell people something they’re required to buy than actually compete for hearts and minds in the free market, Insurers Offer to End Prices Tied to Illness

The health-insurance industry said it would be willing to stop charging sick people more for coverage if all Americans were required to buy insurance.

Tuesday’s proposal, included in a letter to Senate leaders by the industry’s two main trade groups, is the latest move by health insurers to position themselves as constructive participants, rather than obstacles, in the debate over how to overhaul the U.S. health-care system.

…In the letter, the groups said they could “phase out the practice of varying premiums based on health status” if there was an “effective, enforceable requirement that all Americans…obtain and maintain health insurance.” The industry had already said it was willing to offer coverage to all Americans, even those already sick, as long as it could rely on a requirement that everyone get insurance. But the offer to also stop setting premiums based on illness is new.

The health-insurance lobby didn’t rule out charging varying premiums entirely. The letter added that insurers would still have to be able to set different rates according to age, geography, family size and plan design “to maintain affordability” for many people. And it addressed only the individual market, not that for small businesses.

Going along to get along or a payoff in the government-funded healthcare protection racket?

The concession comes as the debate around the idea of a government-run health plan is intensifying. The health-insurance industry has taken a conciliatory approach on a number of issues, such as some reductions over time to government subsidies paid to private Medicare plans, to help influence that discussion. But it staunchly opposes a government-run plan, which it says would upend the private insurance market by driving down payments to hospitals and doctors and shifting those costs onto private insurers.

Thereby driving private insurers out of the market or forcing them to get with the government program, and creating another opportunity for government expansion that shouldn’t, and won’t, go to waste.   Look at Massachusetts to see socialized medicine in action, and where it leads.

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