Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Schroeder on Mandatory Health Insurance

The April 8, 2008 Grand Junction Sentinel posted the following LTE by Dr. James Schroeder:
Requiring health care

Last fall, at a public hearing of the 208 Healthcare Commission, I heard a local citizen proclaim that "We learned our lessons in 1994 with HillaryCare, and we will eventually get universal healthcare by smaller incremental steps." Now state Sen. Bob Hagedorn (D-Aurora), chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, is trying to make one of those incremental steps.

In February, Hagedorn was quoted in the Rocky Mountain News as saying there would not be any state mandates coming out of this legislative session. Now, a mere two months later, Hagedorn is co-sponsoring a bill (SB-217) that seeks to lay the groundwork for an individual insurance mandate.

I encourage you to read this bill for yourself and form your own opinion, but it basically calls for insurance companies to come up with basic benefits packages that will be utilized when the state does get around to passing an individual mandate, presumably in late 2009 or 2010. To quote the wording of the bill directly, it calls for insurance companies to "Assume that all Colorado residents would be required to purchase health insurance."

Recently, in an excellent opinion piece in the Colorado Daily March 23, Linda Gorman of the Independence Institute describes why that same approach failed in Tennessee and is failing in Massachusetts in just two short years. That article can be found at:

Requiring individuals to purchase insurance and then making the taxpayer subsidize that insurance for a large portion of the population is not a public/private partnership. It is coercive, plain and simple. Please let your state legislators know that you are against socialized medicine in any form by opposing SB-217.

Grand Junction