Let's Facilitate Full Disclosure
President Bush signed an executive order today that requires the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Office of Personnel Management to gather information about the quality and price of health care and share that information with each other and the public. The idea is that in this age of increasing consumer directed health care, information must be made available to allow for intelligent choices in spending dollars for health care by you and me. I don't have a problem with that. But as I've said before, insurers need to feel more pressure to write their policies in ways that clearly and unequivocally disclose in plain language what benefits and limitations consumers are getting. Right now, with discretionary language clauses being enforced by courts, insurers have an incentive to fill their policies with ambiguous language and then, when claims arise, interpret those policies to exclude coverage and favor their own financial interests, all the while being immune from judicial oversight.