Republican Health Care Plan: Why More Consumer Choice Will Save Money

Feb 25, 2010
Health Care
Press

We as a nation are currently looking at cost drivers in health insurance and a big part of that is that people are not allowed to buy the insurance they want.  They are forced to either buy the insurance that their state legislators or state insurance commissioners think that they need, even though that may be much more expensive. 

The Republican Health Care Plan would allow people to buy insurance across state lines.  Why is that important?  This way consumers could comparison shop and no longer be forced to buy coverage for treatments they did not want or would never need.

Today, each state regulates what insurance products can be sold within that state.  That regulation often takes the form of mandating that certain things be covered by any and all insurance products within that state. 

Within Washington State no insurance policy may be sold if it does not cover, among other things, the HPV vaccine, acupuncture and the removal of port wine stains.  Even if you have a moral objection to getting a vaccination for an STD you have to buy the coverage.  Even if you are not a believer in the efficacy of acupuncture, you have to buy the coverage.  Even if you don’t have a port wine stain birthmark, you have to purchase coverage for the removal of it.

If a resident of Washington State was disinclined to buy an insurance policy that covered those treatments, he might call an insurance company in Idaho, where the coverage of those conditions is not mandated, and purchase his insurance from them. Unfortunately that would be illegal too.

Keep in mind, citizens of Idaho can buy an insurance policy that covers the HPV vaccine, acupuncture and the removal of port wine stains. They simply make the decision as to whether or not they think that type of coverage is worth the added expense.  That’s a better way to run a health care system.  Policies that empower Americans to choose the best health care plan that fits their lifestyle is what will ultimately drive down the cost of health care.   

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