Why not increase this penalty?

The headline reads: "Health Insurer Must Pay $9 Million for Canceling Sick Woman’s Policy." 

The article has gory details about company employees being given cancelation quotas and bonuses, apparently regardless of whether the cancelations were merited under the terms of the initial policy.

If you think that health insurance policies are unjustly canceled fairly frequently (and yes I can believe this), surely this penalty should be much higher.  The cancelers are rarely caught, so a simple application of law and economics suggests severity not leniency.  For a large health insurance company a $9 million fine is peanuts.

As far as I can tell, credibly stiffer fines have not been tried.  In other words, the government does a poor job at enforcing the health insurance contract.

You might hold a theory that the government judiciary will malfunction in such a way but a health care government bureaucracy would not make mistakes of comparable importance.

I do not hold such a theory.  When it comes to health care reform, I would like to start with the enforcement of contracts based on rational and just penalties.


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