lessons learned from Hawaii's universal health insurance

MedSave Admin | April 4, 2009

An article in Yesterday's Hawaii Reporter compares the state's failed program to provide universal health insurance to the efforts that some are proposing for the entire nation. Hawaii's plan collapsed only seven months after it started simply because the lawmakers did not consider underlying economics. The article says "Hawaii created a universal health insurance program in hopes of reaching the uninsured population, but found that more than eight in ten of those who enrolled previously had insurance." As a result of the failure of this program and subsequent lack of compensating allowances in regulations, Hawaii has few affordable health insurance options and some of the commercial universal insurance plans are not available in the state.

We have always emphasized that it is not possible to legislate the principles of economics and yet we continue to see laws that attempt to do just that. The article concludes "There are better ways for policymakers to make health insurance more affordable and accessible for all Americans: by ending the bias in the tax code for employer-provided health insurance, providing refundable tax credits for the purchase of health insurance, and eliminating regulations that require individuals to purchase policies from providers in their state. More competition and individual control of health insurance resources, not bigger government, is the answer to the United States' healthcare challenge." We strongly agree.

Tags : universal health insurance

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