NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 5, 2008

One of Sacramento's great laments is the number of Californians without health insurance.  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislators ought to look eastward to find a solution, says the Appeal-Democrat.  Not to Massachusetts, where government-imposed, so-called universal health care has increased costs and taxes, is running at a deficit, doesn't cover everyone as promised, and imposes fines on anyone who won't buy state-mandated coverage.  Instead, Sacramento should look to Florida and even New Jersey, which point the way to substantially reducing health insurance costs with a more market-based approach. 

In Florida:

  • The legislature unanimously approved allowing insurance companies to sell stripped-down, no-frills policies, exempted from more than 50 state-imposed mandates.
  • Floridians now can shop cafeteria-style, picking and paying for only the coverage they desire, trimming their costs dramatically and getting only what they deem necessary.

In New Jersey:

  • A family's annual health care policy costs $10,398, compared with the national average of $5,799.
  • Responding to this exorbitant cost, a New Jersey Republican assemblyman is introducing a reasonable remedy, which would permit New Jersey residents to buy low-cost health insurance from any registered policy in any of the 50 states.
  • Allowing purchases across state lines gives buyers alternatives to New Jersey's expensive coverage, inflated by multiple mandates on in-state insurance sellers.

Knocking down the props that hold up prices can be done in California without adding a dime to anyone's tax burden or policy premiums.  If more-affordable coverage really is what the Legislature and governor want to accomplish, Florida and New Jersey point the way, says

Source: "Our View: Unhealthy Situation," Appeal-Democrat, June 3, 2008.


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