For Wall Street Journal, Lightning Strikes Twice
There are two editorials in today’s Wall Street Journal that discuss and highlight the proper solutions (read: abolish needless government regulations) to the worsening health care situation in the United States. Both editorials are spot-on in their assessments, and should be read by all those who are looking for a solution.
The first editorial focuses on the Florida legislature’s unanimous passage of a health care reform bill during this last session. The bill was aimed at kicking the government out of our health care decisions, rather than trying to further regulate and manipulate the free market. Gov. Charlie Crist signed the bill in an effort to combat the notion that health care coverage has to be an all-or-nothing decision. Before this bill was signed, health care coverage plans were littered with state mandates and regulations that often drove up the price of the plan beyond the reach of average individuals. As the author points out, these erstwhile mandates included such "necessary" procedures as the age-old practice of acupuncture, not to mention chiropractic visits (I searched a long time for a clip from the Simpsons episode where Homer sort of becomes a chiropractor, but had no luck). All kidding aside, this is quite an accomplishment for those free-market advocates who think the government would only worsen the problem (jeez, who could think something like that!).
The second editorial also focuses on a bill that is working its way through the legislature in New Jersey (yeah, I know, New Jersey is ahead of Missouri uh oh) that will allow residents to cross states borders to buy an affordable health care policy. By opening out-of-state markets, it allows competition to flood the New Jersey market, which can only benefit that state’s consumers. Rather than being held hostage by existing health care companies in the state that are able to coordinate and charge higher premiums, consumers will be able to select from a number of approved health care providers (don’t even get me started on what approved means, but that is a topic for a different day) throughout the United States.
Because New Jersey’s average health care costs are almost double the national average, this bill should be welcomed with open arms. Nevertheless, opponents of the bill say policy buyers will only be able to get "bare bones" coverage. That is simply not true. Even if did happen to be true, it is not like policy holders would switch to a lesser plan than they originally had; this would simply allow those who had nothing before to have something.
Let’s all hope this bill succeeds, and Missouri legislators take notice.
Alright, that is all for now. I have to get home so I can make it home for the two-hour "Lost" finale.