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Wednesday, January 24, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 12:33 PM | permalink
The American Enterprise Institute today published a newsletter today citing praise for the Massachusetts health insurance mandate that Governor Romney signed into law last April. Here are some excerpts from the newsletter:

Quick description of the program:
A program called the Connector makes low-cost insurance available to small businesses and those without employer-sponsored coverage. Employers are able to offer their workers the option of paying premiums for insurance with pretax dollars. The mandate is intended to provide taxpayer savings by reducing the amount spent on emergency care and hospital services not covered by insurance.
Mark V. Pauly, an AEI adjunct scholar from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, evaluated the study and concluded:
If you want to produce greater equality in an unequal world, you need unequal plans, he said. A good program to help the uninsured will not attempt to offer universal health insurance,
The Urban Institute's John Holahan emphasized:
that mandates on individuals are better than those on employers. He also warned that other states attempting similar programs should beware of special interests: hospitals, insurance companies, health-care providers, and advocacy groups. "Interest groups are incredibly strong," he said. The Massachusetts plan is superior, he added, because it offers educated and structured choices.
John McClaughry of the Ethan Allen Institute spoke about personal responsibility in health insurance.:
He praised the Massachusetts plan because it deals with the uninsured by sending them out into the market, thus reinforcing personal responsibility. Each individual has to decide his own risk level and can purchase insurance to meet his own needs. The Connector is ingenious, he added, because through it individuals and small businesses capture the deduction for health insurance that they could never have captured on their own
Holly Benson, Florida's secretary of business and professional regulation, said:
...the Massachusetts plan offers incentives for preventive care, thus driving down health-care costs. She also noted that insurance companies are responding to mandates and the growing market of uninsured young people by developing low-cost insurance products. Benson praised the virtues of the Connector in offering portability in an era of frequent career transitions. "If you give the private sector enough room to innovate," she concluded, "[it] will find ways to make money and reduce the overall cost of health-care systems."

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