If it is true that the market abhors the vacuum, then the market’s vacuum cleaner must be the government. There is more than ample evidence that if left alone, successful markets (and by definition, marketeers) will produce the goods and services that consumers want.

Yesterday I saw some video clips from fifteen years ago. In one of them, Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto was chatting with a much younger Steve Jobs. Viewers didn’t hear the question Cavuto asked, but I suspect it was not nearly as interesting as Jobs’ answer. He said, “I think Apple has a lot more to offer.” Remember that this was before the first iPod was released in 2001. Think of the iRevolution that has overtaken the consumer universe since then. Amazing.

Left to our own devices, the insurance industry would be no different. The problem on the health insurance side is that we have not been left alone. That giant vacuum of government has swept up much of the potential for innovation, yet other avenues are flourishing. On the p-c side of the business, there’s a new policy called (what else) “SLICE” that protects the owners of pizza parlors.

SLICE is an acronym (gotta have one of those to be successful) for “Safety, Loss Control, Insurance, Coverage and Expertise”. According to California’s EPIC Programs Group, this coverage would address liabilities presented by the delivery drivers. Theirs is a creative approach to a niche of a niche, but that’s how markets work.

Unless the government mandates that the drivers purchase this insurance or they create exchanges where you can have any coverage you want as long as it is “pepperoni with extra cheese”, other entrepreneurs will now imitate and innovate, producing better broader coverage at lower costs.

There are plenty of other examples in non-medical insurance fields (tuna boat captains purchasing disability income coverage, etc. etc. etc.) yet we don’t see innovation flourishing on the medical side. That’s because the government specializes in creating vacuums. And we all know what vacuums do.

That great sucking sound you hear just might come from Washington.