Battlepanda: Progress on Healthcare from the State Level


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Progress on Healthcare from the State Level

Henry at Armchair Capitalists points me to this Joe Klein column in the Times about Republican Mitt Romney's bid to bring universal healthcare to Massachusetts. In a nutshell, he plans to make health insurance mandatory, just like auto insurance, except the more you earn, the more you pay. The poorest families pay just $2 per week into the system, with the government taking up the slack, using the $1 billion currently used to provide emergency care to the uninsured and $1 billion from the federal government. The article say nothing about whether there will be legislation to force the insurance companies from taking all comers at the same rate. But I am assuming that there will be to fully eliminate the adverse selection problem.

Do I think that this is the best plan possible? No. To steal Tyler Cowen's wording, it seems like we would have to regulate the insurance market so much to enforce this plan that it is tantemont to a single-payer plan with the severely-limited market acting as an extra layer of bureaucracy without bringing any efficiency to the party. But having say that I still think this plan would be an enormous step forward if Romney can pull it off. I will be watching this, along with Gov. Blagojevich's All Kids program in Illinois, with great interest.