Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Schwartz on Mandatory Insurance

The April 15, 2008 Rocky Mountain News posted the following LTE by Brian Schwartz in its online edition:
Politicians shouldn’t force grown-ups to buy insurance

In "Health-care reform for grown-ups" (April 6), the Rocky's editorial board says "it can live with" mandatory insurance proposed in Senate Bill 217 if "value benefit plans are indeed viable and available at modest costs." But real grown-ups can't "live with" politicians treating them like children.

Attempting to justify this nanny-state proposal, the editors perpetuate the fallacy that the "cost-shift from the uninsured" makes insurance so expensive: Such "uncompensated care totals $600 million ... according to the blue ribbon commission." Wrong.

In a January 26 Speakout printed here, Commission member Linda Gorman showed that the Commission's figure was much less, and that the maximum annual cost-shift was "about $85 per insured individual." How much will SB 217 cost taxpayers?

Maybe mothers can force their four-year-olds to eat their vegetables, but politicians shouldn't force grown-ups to buy insurance. As grown-ups, we have the individual right to make that choice ourselves.

Brian T. Schwartz, Boulder