Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Gov. Mitt Romney doesn't just want to make health insurance universal. He wants to make it compulsory.
In an opinion piece published in today's Herald, the possible presidential contender pushes the ball way upfield in the healthcare debate by calling ``for a personal responsibility principle'' in health insurance.
``Everyone must either become insured or maintain an adequate savings account to cover their medical expenses,'' Romney writes.
The argument: that would cut out free-riders who use today's system without paying for it. ``We cannot expect some citizens to pay for others who can afford to pay some or all of their own way,'' he writes.
I wonder if the Governor has read this article by the National Center for Policy Analysis, which concludes:
Realistically, the federal government cannot require the purchase of health insurance and leave insurers, providers and state legislators free to increase the price without limit. Mandating health insurance is an open invitation to federal regulation of the entire health care system.
--the average cost of health insurance premiums for a family of four, 2004 (including COBRA portion of the premium): $9,950 (up 11% from previous year)
--the average inflation adjusted income of a family of four, 2003: $43,318 (cumulative decline of 3.25% since 2001)
--average annual health insurance premium, individual (including COBRA portion): $3,695
--annual income of a full time day care center employee, 2003: $7.18/hour ($14,360/yr)
--average annual increase in cost of health insurance, 1996-2004: 8.2%
Because the more you know...
See also Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity