Thursday, April 13, 2006

Healthcare Progress in MA and CA?

I came across this article this morning primarily dealing with the new Massachusetts Universal Health Coverage signed into law by Governor Romney recently:

Massachusetts to require health insurance

It also mentions some new California health provisions on the books. There are two common themes to these new laws:

  1. Businesses should be responsible for health care costs of employees.

  2. Citizens without insurance are criminals.

Businesses are not responsible for our health care costs. While health insurance has nearly become a mandatory benefit for many professionals, the fact remains that it is a benefit. Employers offer benefits to compete in the job market with other employers, and now we have two state governments turning a competitive advantage into a legal requirement.

Even more mind-boggling, both states are now turning uninsured citizens into criminals. California will levy civil fines against the uninsured, and Massachusetts plans penalties like the loss of certain tax advantages. How does this help anyone? Are we now going to form a new beauracracy to investigate, charge, and fine the uninsured?

Maybe we can have a new state agency built in true IRS-style that can police health insurance. Maybe they'll even offer some incentive bonuses for catching the uninsured through audits. Will they station officers at the doors of every hospital emergency room looking for offenders?

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

To the politicians, grow up and get the costs under control. Stop using your power to exacerbate the problem.



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