Way back in 2000, I wrote a column listing all of the reasons the U.S. should reform health insurance. I was advocating adoption of single-payer (Medicare for All), and I still believe that would have been the simplest and most effective policy–but politics, as we all know, is the art of the possible, and single-payer wasn’t going to fly.
I had a long list of benefits I predicted would flow from universal access to healthcare. Down in the “and also” part of that list was the following:
Individuals would save money. Auto and homeowners insurance premiums would decline, because the underwriting would no longer need to take the costs of medical care into account.
Researchers are now investigating the actual costs and savings attributable to the Affordable Care Act (as opposed to the political talking points and hype). Rand has just issued one such study:
Auto insurance providers pay for some or all medical injury claims that are sustained in automobile accidents in the United States depending on the terms of the policy. The dollar amounts involved are based on an analysis of the amounts that all U. S. auto insurance providers paid for automobile injuries in 2007. The total was $35 billion.
The entire cost of auto injury health care will be taken over by health insurance providers according to the terms of the Affordable Care Act.
I told you so.