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Leading policy-makers and scholars explain how market forces, deregulation, and consumer choice can work to improve health care for all Americans.

Commentary

Cheaper Health Insurance
Wall Street Journal, 7-25-05

This editorial takes up a position that Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow David Gratzer (among others) has long advocated: allowing American consumers to shop for health insurance in a national market rather than being constrained by expensive and often illogical state insurance mandates. Creating a national market for health insurance should not only make it more affordable, it should encourage workers to change jobs without worrying about losing their health care coverage:

Last week the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a bill that could dramatically reduce the ranks of the uninsured and spur general economic growth -- all without costing a dime to the Treasury.

The idea behind the legislation, sponsored by GOP Representative John Shadegg of Arizona, is disarmingly simple: Allow Americans to buy health insurance from vendors in any one of the 50 states. Right now Americans who aren't lucky enough to get insurance from large employers or poor enough to qualify for Medicaid find themselves at the mercy of the legislators and insurance commissioners of the state in which they happen to live. This can be OK in states that exercise this regulatory function judiciously. But in others, the young and working poor find themselves effectively priced out of the market by special-interest regulations dressed up as consumer protections.


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