Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mihos Health Care Platform

One of our readers recently pointed me towards the health care platform of Christy Mihos, a Republican candidate for governor in Massachusetts.

Note: FIRM is a non-partisan project. Therefore, this should not be construed as any kind of endorsement of Mihos or any other political candidate.

However, it is noteworthy that Mihos has offered both a good diagnosis of today's health policy problems and some important free-market solutions:
...First and foremost, our reforms were based on the faulty notion that health care is some sort of "right" which must be guaranteed by the government. Rights are not entitlements to goods or products that must be produced by another. There is no such thing as a right to a car, or a tonsillectomy. Instead, we have the right to be left alone and purchase as much or as little health-care as we choose.

Our state's current problem are the results of policy makers, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and insurers (a few of which are my opponents) violating this basic right and limiting our freedom to purchase what we want and from whom. Now, we are forced to choose from a limited set of insurance plans on terms set by Beacon Hill and special interest, rather than ourselves.
His proposed solutions include:
We should repeal all laws such as community rating and guaranteed issue, which have made Massachusetts' insurance rates amongst the highest in the country. Instead, our state should allow people to buy more affordable coverage that is available in other states. By allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines, this would immediately make the best offerings of all 50 states available to Massachusetts residents. This plan also has the potential to dramatically cut insurance expenses for many residents.

I also want to allow people to set up health savings accounts (HSAs) for routine expenses and purchase catastrophic-only insurance for major expenses. Under our current system, HSA-qualified plans are unaffordable and essentially illegal. These reforms would empower patients and lower costs by making patients not just the consumers, but paying customers of medical care and insurance.
I don't know anything else about Mihos beyond what's on his website, and I haven't done any significant research into his positions on other issues. Hence, this should not be construed as any kind of endorsement of his candidacy.

But I am glad that at least one Massachusetts political candidate is seriously considering free-market health care reforms. And I hope that other candidates (both in MA and the rest of the country) start discussing and debating these ideas as well.