Saturday, April 14, 2007

More Problems With Massachusetts

This recent article in the Boston Globe reveals yet more problems with Massachusetts' attempt to guarantee universal health care:
"Health plan may exempt 20% of the uninsured"

By Alice Dembner, Globe Staff -- April 12, 2007

To remove the threat of a public backlash, the state plans to exempt nearly 20 percent of uninsured adults from the state's new requirement that everyone have health insurance.

The proposal, expected to be approved by a state board today, is based on calculations that even the lowest-cost insurance would not be affordable for an estimated 60,000 people with low and moderate incomes who do not qualify for state subsidies. Forcing them to buy insurance or pay a penalty could jeopardize the rest of the state's initiative, officials said...
Because these sorts of government-mandated health plans are detached from the usual market mechanisms, the state is forced to either compromise on "universal" coverage, decrease (i.e., ration) benefits, or raise taxes. In this case, the government is choosing the first "solution" in order not to undermine the political popularity of their program.

Unfortunately, none of the officials seem willing to entertain market-based solutions, such as HSA's (Health Savings Accounts) coupled with free-market catastrophic insurance, a system that has been proven to provide better quality coverage for a lower cost.