Thoughts on "The Small Bill"

Cite this Article
Todd Henderson, Thoughts on "The Small Bill", Truth on the Market (February 17, 2010),

Writing in the Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Anderson offers an alternative to Obamacare (or should we call it Pelosireidcare?). The seven provisions in the “Small Bill” seem sensible to this nonexpert. Allowing insurance to be sold interstate is likely to bring down costs and improve service — wouldn’t some competition from Geico Health Insurance be a good thing? I can already imagine the commercials. Another proposal is to cap noneconomic damages in medical malpractice suits. Again, this seems like a no-brainer.

But I was most interested in proposal #3:

Cut costs by allowing lower premiums for healthier lifestyles.  Federal regulations ban companies from offering more than a 20 percent discount to those who eat and drink in moderation, exercise, or don’t smoke.  Such regulations handcuff private cost-cutting efforts and should be eliminated.  (No increase in government spending.*)

I’ve written about this in an article forthcoming in the University of Chicago Law Review. You can find a version of the paper here. Based on my review of corporate nannyism, I fully endorse proposal #3 of the Small Bill.