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