Radley Balko thinks it is a good idea to allow insurance companies to have cheaper rates for healthier people. He thinks, and I agree, that it would encourage, freemarket style, healthier lifestyles.

The problem is that insurance companies don’t think they are allowed to. So, Radley investigated:

I sought out and got a few minutes to speak with HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson after he spoke to the Obesity Summit on Wednesday evening.

“Do you know why it is that health insurers can’t charge lower premiums to reward people who stay fit?” I asked.

“No,” Thompson said. “I absolutely support the idea. I think they should do it.”

“There’s no law preventing it?”

“Not that I’m aware of. We’d heard there might be something preventing it when I first took office. But I had my counsel’s office look into it, and we don’t see any reason why they can’t do it. And we think they should.”

So get on the ball people.