The author, Bill Saporito, goes on the make the case that the obstacle to competition in health insurance is something he calls "substitutability." That is, you can compare the price and features of cars and make a judgement on the best value for you, but you can't easily compare insurance policies, since so much is contingent on the network of physicians you'd have available, and it's hard to shop for an orthopedist when your legbone is sticking out of your skin.
A valid point, but the real problem goes deeper than that.
The industry is profitable enough that there are over 2,000 private health insurance companies! The per capita medical cost in Japan is roughly half of the US ($3500 v. $7400). In the US, there are three dozen listed insurance companies.
In truth, there are really only a dozen or so companies that provide health insurance (the reason more are listed has to do with a curious construct in America: states regulate insurers and so many companies can't or won't write policies in every state.)
There is a concept in economics called "monopoly profit." Essentially, because competition is limited or non-existent, a company can pretty much set whatever price it damn well pleases for its product and make boatloads of money. True competition would force those prices to come down.
This is what the American health insurance industry is all about and why they can get away with denying coverage to a sick person while the CEO buys yet another boat. It is also why healthcare costs have skyrocketed over the past three decades. The lack of competition allows insurers to set whatever premium will make them the most profit with little fear of losing customers. This also explains why a full fifth of the nation has no health insurance. Rather than run to a non-existent competitor, people simply opt out of coverage. It's too expensive? Take it or leave it.
What we have here is an oligopoly, a market controlled by a small number of players, with enormous barriers to entry for competitors. It's also why former Congressman and current tool of the industry Billy Tauzin introduced and passed a piece of legislation specifically forcing Medicare to not bargain with hospitals and doctors to lower costs of medical care. Since insurers can simply raise premiums to cover their premium profits, there's no incentive in the industry to negotiate with healthcare providers, and indeed, higher costs can be passed along in totality PLUS ADDITIONAL PROFIT MARGINS to their customers.
So when Teabaggers talk about a "free market solution," remind them that in most industries we've had "market solutions" but because of the greed of the corporatocracy and the capitulation of the Republicans (and now Democrats to a lesser degree), there are no "free" markets.
Freedom just ain't free anymore.