Debunking An Old Myth

Published March 12, 2015

I occasionally run into people who express some variation of the argument “without benefit mandates on insurance companies, they’d sell policies that don’t cover cancer.”

Interestingly enough, in 2009 the National Conference of State Legislatures put out a report on cancer mandates in the states, which you can review here.

Completely missing from the list: a general mandate that insurers cover cancer in the first place. All of the mandates are what I call “add-ons,” meaning they presume cancer treatment is included in all coverage even without a mandate, but there’s some specific screening or treatment the best and brighests political minds in the state capitol want covered.

There’s a lesson here, namely that the concern insurers can’t wait to trick people into buying a policy that doesn’t cover cancer is a myth. But I don’t expect that will stop advcocates of government-run or at least government-directed health care from rushing to the microphone to defend consumers from a threat that doesn’t exist.