US Residents Should Be Allowed Purchase Health Insurance In Any State

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A Dec. 12 WallStreet Journal opinion piece written by Merrill Matthews, executivedirector of the Council for Affordable HealthInsurance,highlights the "tragedy of state governments forbidding citizens fromexercising the basic right to buy health insurance from other states,"John Graham, director of health care studies at the Pacific Research Institute, writes in a Journalletter to the editor (Graham, Wall Street Journal, 12/20). In theopinion piece, Matthews recommends that Congress pass the Health Care ChoiceAct -- legislation sponsored by Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) that would allowU.S. residents to purchase health insurance in any state -- to help make themarket more competitive and reduce costs (Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport,12/12).

According to Graham, "regional regulatory monopolies drive up health costsby making their residents pay for expensive mandates that benefit determinedinterest groups at society's expense," and state governments "alsodrive up health costs and taxes in less-regulated states because over-regulatedstates continuously lobby the federal government for more money to bandagetheir self-inflicted wounds."

He writes that the "federal government's out-of-control spending" onMedicaid and SCHIP "bails out states that drive private health insurancepremiums sky high through overregulation." As a result, "residents ofstates where health insurance is still affordable should be just as outraged asthose in overregulated jurisdictions" and support the legislation, Grahamadds (Graham, Wall Street Journal, 12/20).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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