We’ve been told that one important component of the replacement for Obamacare is the ability for health insurance to be “sold across state lines.” Insurers now must be licensed by the state to sell their products.
The state dictates what programs must be included in the plans offered by each insurer. These programs most often include mental health, family planning and addiction (e.g., drug/alcohol) services. Those who buy health insurance have no choice but to pay premiums for these services whether or not they will ever seek them. State legislators and regulators claim this is necessary for the protection of the buyer. Insurance companies benefit from this strict regulation because they profit from premiums paid by beneficiaries who are not likely to use the covered service.
What would truly reduce the cost of health insurance, rather than the ability for coverage to be sold across state lines, is eliminating state regulation that dictates the programs that must be included in every plan. If I am not addicted to drugs or alcohol, I should not be required to pay for that coverage. If my wife is beyond childbearing age, I should not be required to pay for obstetrical services. If we do not use birth control or would ever choose to have an abortion, we should not have to pay for family planning services.
The fact is that health insurance as structured now is a tremendous limitation to our freedom and liberty as Americans. It essentially is a tax system that fills the coffers of insurance companies.
The cost of health care can be significantly reduced by eliminating regulations that restrict a citizen from purchasing a health plan tailored to his or her own needs. This should be the goal of federal legislators in replacing Obamacare.