Do the right thing

Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“[M]y wife spends a lot of time on the phone with insurance companies, mostly dealing with complex and confusing rules and regulations. One day after a particularly frustrating set of calls trying to get coverage for the purchase of my daughter’s contact lens, we discussed the root cause of all this distress. I pointed out that in a normal country you’d just go to the store and buy contacts, instead of working through a so-called ‘insurance’ company. (I use scare quotes as this has nothing to do with ‘insurance’ as an economic concept — it doesn’t reduce risk.) Our government uses the tax and regulatory system to push people towards buying more expensive contacts via employer insurance. (And let’s not even talk about ‘prescriptions.’) Without these provisions, my company would have no reason at all to provide contact lens insurance for my daughter. I’d buy catastrophic health insurance (which I’d probably go through my entire life never using), and then pay for health care out of pocket.” (11/14/17)