To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mandated Health Care, and Its Costs

Recently Massachusetts and California have proposed legislation that mandates that the uninsured purchase health care. I have blogged on this site, to little fanfare, protesting those moves as both an intrusion of government on personal affairs and a big mandated expense.

My lonely cause has gained momentum, as the costs have become clearer.

In Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, in an optimism that mirrored the view that Iraq would be a cakewalk, estimated the cost at $200/month. His legislation mandated that every uninsured person purchase insurance. The penalty for those who don't is that the Commonwealth will garnish their wages and charge them anyway. But the $200 cost became $380 as the Massachusetts legislature and insurance board caved into special interests and couldn't produce a minimal plan.

The WSJ editorial board had this to say:
This week brings one other piece of bad news for proponents of the Massachusetts model, by the way. Early bids suggest the soon-to-be compulsory insurance policies that will pass muster under the scheme will be expensive -- starting at a whopping $380 per month, or $4,560 a year, for an individual. That's hardly surprising when you look at costs in other states that overregulate their insurance markets, such as New York. But it's more evidence that the better way to get people covered is to mimic the practices of less-regulated states such as Connecticut, where a 35-year-old man can get covered for as little as $50 per month
Deregulate the markets and let people insure themselves as they see fit. The worst thing is to mandate coverage without deregulation, but they shouldn't mandate it anyway.