Death by Regulation

I've been pretty skeptical of the Amity Shlaes argument that regulatory uncertainty was the major culprit in prolonging the Great Depression.  Over time, however, in talking to banks and business people, I've become more convinced that it's at least a minor problem.  And this seems like a pretty clear cut case of death by regulation:  startup health insurer forced to shut down because of uncertainty surrounding health care reform.  According to the insurer, at least, they neither have the capital to handle the new requirements, nor have any prospect of raising it from the markets, where they've already tried and failed to get more investment.  Of course, I'm sure that many people will say that it was probably just a bad health insurer we didn't want anyway.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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