Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Frankfort can't justify doing this to us

If you grew up with siblings, you probably know the injustice of parental punishment doled out unevenly. Big brothers took the heat while little brothers got off easy for similar crimes at my house.

But we are adults now. And besides, government is not your daddy. That's why Kentucky's Constitution forbids arbitrary enforcement of laws. We try to require officials to be evenhanded to protect everyone equally.

That's why the Commonwealth's reign of terror against Christians in health sharing organizations is so despicable. Kentucky's Department of Insurance has attacked Christian Care Medi-Share in court for ten years as an illegal insurance company. Under Kentucky law, Samaritan Ministries and Christian HealthCare Ministries are just as guilty but have avoided any of the same punishment. This uneven enforcement hurts not only the companies and their members with all the uncertainty, but also potential members who will be looking for alternatives to government-controlled health insurance increasingly in the months and years ahead.

In May, the Department's spokesperson told me they had been watching Samaritan and Christian HealthCare for years. In June, the Department initiated a formal investigation into their activities. Given that a determination of their legality can be made by viewing their web sites for a few minutes and that they have supposedly been under the watchful eye of state regulators for years, two months is way more than enough time to act. That's particularly true if consumers are at risk, right? I mean, isn't that why regulators have jobs?

Kentucky insurance regulation is a joke. It's not a funny one and, in fact, represents an unconstitutional abuse of power as well as a waste of scarce resources. We are going to prove it and, in doing so, pave the way to requiring state government to better justify its actions or to stop them.