NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 13, 2008

One of Springfield's great laments is the number of Illinoisans without health insurance.  The predictably bad solution has been to propose hundreds of millions of dollars in additional spending for free coverage -- some for families that can afford it.  Gov. Rod Blagojevich and legislators should look east for direction, says the Jacksonville Journal-Courier.

First, look at Massachusetts for what not to do:

  • 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 the state-mandated coverage.
  • The least-expensive plan would cost a 37-year-old male resident of Massachusetts $196 a month, and a fine for not having insurance could run half of that, or $98 a month, says Devon Herrick, a National Center for Policy Analysis senior fellow; the same 37-year-old living in Dallas could buy coverage for $98 per month.

Instead, Illinois should look to Florida, says the Journal-Courier:

  • Lobbyists for every conceivable health care treatment, from acupuncture to fertility treatments, have persuaded states to require insurers to sell the whole menu or nothing.
  • But 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.

Springfield should also look in the unlikely direction of New Jersey:

  • If a proposed law passes, residents could buy health insurance from any registered policy in any of the 50 states.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that a healthy, 25-year-old man can buy basic coverage in Kentucky for about $960 a year, compared with $5,880 in New Jersey.

Source: Editorial, "Springfield should look to the east for health care," Jacksonville Journal-Courier, June 12, 2008.


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