HEALTH INSURANCE AND GENETIC SCREENING….I’ve mentioned before my belief that universal single-payer healthcare ? like it or not ? is inevitable due to advances in genetic screening. Basically, the argument is that if people are screened for risk and the results are kept secret from insurance companies, then only the highest risk people will buy insurance and the insurance companies will go out of business. Conversely, if the information is shared, a large number of people will be completely shut out of the insurance market.
Today, Daniel Davies tells us that it might actually be worse: due to some intricacies in the way insurance companies work, even healthy people might not be able to get insurance.
I’m surprised this issue doesn’t get more attention in the U.S. The issues are pretty well known and, honestly, I don’t think it can be more than 10 or 20 years before genetic screening gets to the point that it essentially causes the collapse of the private health insurance market. As usual, I suppose, we’ll do nothing about it until it becomes a crisis.
Oh well, as long as you’re over at D-squared you can check up on the latest Den Beste mockery too. Scroll down to February 8th and you’ll see that he’s really feeling the pressure, yes he is…..
UPDATE: Nicholas Kristof has a column in the New York Times today on this subject. Check it out.