Bloomberg View editorials like this one on ObamaCare may help Mayor Bloomberg's chances for the vice presidency by aligning him with President Obama on the constitutionality and substance of Mr. Obama's signature domestic policy initiative, ObamaCare. But that doesn't mean there's much merit, if any, to the arguments in the editorials.
The Bloomberg editorial, under the headline, "All Americans Lose If Health Care Law Is Overturned," frets, "Without the law, insurance companies...could stop paying the full cost of preventive services such as mammograms, flu shots and well-child visits."
The idea that insurance companies will stop paying for mammograms if the ObamaCare law is struck down is just total fiction. Here is a New York Times article from 1991: "Over the past four years, 37 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws requiring insurers to pay for or offer screening tests for breast cancer." (A federal report in 2000 from the Centers for Disease Control said "By the end of May 2000, the District of Columbia and all states except Utah had mandated health insurance reimbursement for breast cancer screening using mammography for all women covered by health insurance.")
In other words, this federal law on mammograms actually lags state laws on the matter, by about 20 years. It is so far behind that the mammogram technology is being rapidly overtaken by better, and more expensive imaging techniques. This is the problem with health care law written and administered by politicians and bureaucrats — the law can't keep up with the dynamic change in either the technology or the clinical practice. In today's world, women at high risk for breast cancer get a "free" mammogram once a year — but they also get an annual MRI which, at a major teaching hospital in New York City, costs $5,996.92. (And that's on top of your $20,000 or so a year health insurance premiums.) The "free" mammogram isn't much of a consolation to those faced with that MRI bill, who realize the truth to the adage, "You think your health-care is expensive now, just wait till the government makes it 'free.'"
The Bloomberg editorial also praises as "valuable" ObamaCare's requirements when it comes to "medical loss ratio": "the requirement that for every dollar insurance companies collect in premiums, they spend no more than 15 cents to 20 cents on administration and profits. The rest has to go toward medical claims. Before the law, insurance companies often spent 25 percent to 30 percent of the money on administrative costs and profit." How would Mr. Bloomberg feel if Congress passed a law limiting his profit margin at Bloomberg, L.P. to 15% or 20%?