Boehner, after months of foot dragging revealed his comprehensive plan to reform health insurance:
- Number one: let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines.
- Number two: allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do.
- Number three: give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs.
- Number four: end junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think it’s good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.
Insurers could sell their products to Americans in any state. The insurer would have to follow the rules and regulations in the state where it is based or “domiciled” — not the rules of the state where the consumer or policyholder lives. Allowing the state laws chosen by the insurer rather than the laws of the state where the consumer lives to govern health insurance regulation is what makes this policy so controversial.
- Premiums? Health insurance premiums may decrease for many young, healthy individuals. Yet, premiums would like go up for many other Americans, especially those people with health conditions or individuals who prefer comprehensive insurance policies.
- Benefit Mandates? Most benefit mandates would be eliminated by an across state lines proposal. In fact, selling health insurance across state lines would eliminate any guarantee that important benefit mandates like maternity care would be included in insurance packages in the future. Consumers would get little in exchange — overwhelming evidence shows that benefit mandates per se are not why health insurance costs so much.
- Access to Coverage? Many people would find it more difficult to access health insurance if health insurance were sold across state lines. This is because there would be fewer guaranteed issue policies and because insurers would have an increased incentive to deny people coverage and charge people more based on their health history.
Medicynical note: Any plan that doesn’t mandate use of community ratings rather than individual ratings is a waste of time and money. It’s tantamount to licensing insurers to charge those with illness more, which is no different from what we have now.
Number two: What does it mean to “allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do.”
This is yet another great republican idea that doesn’t work out of the box. Now if they were to propose that such groups should accept all comers and that community ratings rather than individual ratings would apply the approach might be useful. As is, it’s another smoke screen.
Number three: What does it mean to: “give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs.”
Medicynical Note: What does that mean? It’s what my high school teacher called a glittering generality. Details NONE!!
Number four: “end junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think its good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.”