What do libertarians think of health insurance companies who deny coverage or demand high co-pays?
If you seek health care, there are only 3 ways to pay:
1. Out of pocket which is extremely expensive (eg. an MRI can cost a few thousand dollars)
2. Private health insurance with the understanding that certain services may not be covered (as per the company's discretion) and a possibly high co-pay.
3. Government funded/controlled healthcare with the problems of bureaucracy, long waiting time for services and no individual choice in health care coverage.
I have been practicing Neurology in the United States for about 10 years and despite the problems with #3, I don't fully understand the libertarian joys over #2. If your health care coverage is at the mercy of which insurance company your employer chooses, then how is this an advance in individual freedom. Instead of the government controlling your healthcare (and you have the right to vote that government out) then how is a private corporation (to which the individual has no control over) more benevolent. I have seen so many hard working individuals whose insurance plans denied services which I as a physician recommended. For example, if a patient has multiple sclerosis an interferon (which can prevent relapses) would cost $15000 out of pocket. I have managed patients whose insurance companies have either refused to pay (if the condition was pre-existing before the patient received the health insurance) or that the co-pay is enormous. Yet north of the border in Canada even though a patient may have to wait 3 months for an MRI to diagnose multiple sclerosis, the provincial governments fully cover cost of the drugs. Yet here in the United States, the epithets never cease ie. universal health care is totalitarian or Stalinist if we allow the government to control the individual's health.
I have duel citizenship for both Canada and the US. My children are eligible for Canadian citizenship and for their health, I am seriously planting the idea in their heads that moving to Canada may be an option in the future. Can someone give me a convincing libertarian argument that this would be a mistake? Or is there a #4 on my above list that libertarians have to offer?