Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Expensive Insurance in Massachusetts

Greg Scandlen points out that due to the onerous government mandates, residents in the "universal coverage" state of Massachusetts would be better off buying their insurance in Connecticut:
The New York Times reported that 340,000 of the states residents have gained coverage, including 174,000 in Commonwealth Care (the subsidized program) and the governor "has requested $869 million for Commonwealth Care, but his aides have already conceded that will not be enough."

Let's see, that is $4,994 per person in Commonwealth Care, exclusive of any premiums paid by enrollees. I suppose any state could lower its numbers of uninsured if it is willing to spend $5,000 per enrollee. Interestingly, the most expensive policy available next door in Hartford, Connecticut for a 35-year old male costs just $2,744 a year. This is for a zero deductible, zero coinsurance HMO. Other plans cost half of that or less. Massachusetts would have been better served if it simply allowed its residents to buy coverage next door and paid all of their premium.
The high prices in MA are a direct result of the government interference in the free market.

One could achieve "universal housing" by similarly just forcing everyone to pay twice as much for rent as the market would bear and using the excess money to pay for subsidized housing for the homeless. But this sort of forced redistribution of wealth is just an indirect way of creating creating another giant welfare program.