Medical Mercenary or Meathead?

You know you’re in trouble when an “occasional” rabbi from Mormon country sees it as his divine mission to segment the health care market.

“I feel I’m doing God’s work switching people from group plans to individual
insurance,” said Paul Zane Pilzer.

Pilzer, an economist who authors books with titles like “God Wants You to Be Rich,” and his medical mission are spotlighted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

Pilzer’s advice is this, according to the Journal: “Employers should stop providing group health insurance and help employees get individual policies instead.”

Never mind, of course, that individual policies are far more expensive and
offer far fewer consumer protections than a person buying through their employer
— or through a government program.

Never mind, of course, that a huge chunk of people won’t be able to get coverage at any price because they’re sick.

And never mind that it could be illegal — discriminating against sicker

What I found interesting/annoying was that he pointed to the shift from pensions to 401ks as a success. (This ignores the fact that workers feel less secure about their financials as they reach their retirement years and businesses are increasingly getting consultants to help employees with their 401ks. If it was such a success, why the insecurity? and why the need for the helping hand?)

Following in the steps of the disappearing pension would be a huge mistake — as the dreamy Yale economist Jacob Hacker has written of in his Great Risk Shift.

I’m thinking Pilzer might want to take on a different task from God.

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