Health Care Reform Free Market Style

The create a statistic crowd just loves to harp on health insurance. We have heard the numbers, 15, 20, 28.4, 45 million people without health care. The numbers fly off the mouths of the talking heads so freely you can almost believe some of them. Why is all this spouted? Universal health care of course. A young man knocked on my door last week and asked me to sign a petition to lower health care costs. How would signing a petition lower health care costs, I inquired? Simple, we could create a single payer, and I cut him off there. I asked the young man if he had heard of a proposal from John Shadegg to lower health care cost by increasing competition? A blank stare is all I got in return.

I wonder how many of you know about this?

John Shadegg is a Congressman from Arizona who has some revolutionary ideas in regards to health care reform. The Congressman has proposed The Health Care Choice Act which is designed to let the free market act with all its might to reduce health insurance cost across the Nation.

One of the major costs in Health Care Insurance is something called mandatory coverage. Each State has its own Insurance Commissioner, these Commissioners have great power in determining how insurance companies that do business in their states must operate. The number of mandates has grown increasingly over the years with such things as hair replacements, aromatherapy, acupuncture, etc adding extensively to the cost of coverage. In some States as many as 1,800 mandatory coverage items are listed.

The effect of this mandatory coverage is to force consumers in certain markets to get nothing less than Cadillac coverage in the States in which they live. Many people and many businesses can not afford to offer this type of coverage.

So how do you fix it? Congressman Shadeggs Health Care Choice Act will allow insurance products licensed in one State to be sold in another.

Here is how it works. Let us say Idaho has 300 mandates and can offer a family policy at $400 a month. New Jersey has 1,500 mandates and insurance coverage is a minimum of $2,400 a month. An insurance company licensed in Idaho could apply with the Insurance Commissioner in New Jersey to sell the Idaho product.

Think about this. Now many private business owners who could never afford basic coverage for their employees now could because it costs 84% less than the previously mandated cost in New Jersey. Additionally, the self employed would have many more options available to them.

Increasing competition in this fashion could go a long way towards getting more people covered in our Country. I understand The Speaker and the President are supportive of this plan and it could be brought up in the House in September. The plan did pass the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 21, 2005 on a party-line 24-23 vote.

It would appear that the Democrats on the committee like to talk about the number of people without health care, but want little to do with helping get more people covered. As this legislation moves forward expect to hear the loudest screaming from the Insurance Commissioners across the Country. While increasing competition, the bill would also decrease their power base. Nothing screams louder than a beaurocrat who is having their power taken away.

Posted by RealDebate at August 26, 2005 12:26 PM