By Kristina M. Young, MS & Philip J. Kroth, MD, MS
Authors of Health Care USA, 9th Edition
Amidst all the rhetoric and bluster of the health care debate, public discourse suggests that many lawmakers and the American public have little understanding of the fundamental principles of how insurance actually works. Regarding the ACA, calls to end its “individual mandate” because it infringes upon personal rights, suggestions to segregate people with pre-existing conditions into high-risk pools, and proposals to cap life-time health insurance benefits are only three examples of what seem to bespeak an enduring ignorance. In the face of all controversies, health insurance market principles remain grounded in insurers’ management of risk and how insurance works.