Sunday, April 20, 2008

D.C. Folly

Several states either have, or want to have, universal health insurance coverage. Now it seems D.C. wants to get in the act.

Bad move.

Residents who already have health coverage and are completely satisfied with it -- but who do not have the kinds of coverage that the legislation stipulates -- would have to change their plans when they come up for renewal. Catania's bill is silent on what that means, but if Massachusetts is any indication, it will end up costing people money.

Apparently the politicians in D.C. aren't any brighter than the ones in Massachusetts.

Before Massachusetts enacted its mandate, it had a little more than 600,000 uninsured residents. Under the new program, about 219,000 previously uninsured residents have signed up for insurance, but nearly all of them receive subsidized coverage. Another 70,000 have been signed up for Medicaid. But fewer than 30,000 unsubsidized residents have signed up as a result of the mandate. Despite the mandate, as many as 300,000 Massachusetts residents remain uninsured.

It gets worse (but then you knew it would).

And while failing to achieve universal coverage, the Massachusetts plan cost taxpayers a great deal. It is now expected to exceed its budget by $150 million to $400 million over the next year, and $2 billion to $4 billion more than was budgeted over the coming decade.

$2+ billion MORE than budgeted. But hey, it's government money, right?

Insurance should be inexpensive for the young and healthy, but the policies Catania recommends, such as guaranteed issue and community rating, make it expensive. The result, in states with such policies -- such as New York and New Jersey, as well as Massachusetts -- has been disastrous, leading young and healthy people to flee the insurance market in droves

Don't politicians do any research before shooting their mouth off?

Apparently not . . .
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