Sure they can. Healthcare here is never going to be completely lazzie-faire, so we’re always going to have artificial constraints on insurers. So you go at at the preexisting condition issue from two angles — reduce what is a disqualifying preexisting condition, and expand who can use Medicaid for those whose conditions would never be economical to insure. We already sort of do that through social security disability, where people who are considered disabled get Medicaid. I imagine health care companies would be delighted to take those with arthritis over those with MS.
As to your point about high deductibles — that incentive to control costs, is it not also an incentive to accrue costs? That is, you cite someone who doesn’t get an early cancer screening. Would they not have a further disincentive to be seen if they had a 5,000$ deductible?
As to the arguments of Mr. Shapiro, I imagine he is defending a hypothetical free market health care system, not this quasi free market system where mega corporations and government collude to screw ordinary consumers.