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  • Interstate Compacts for Health Insurance is Yet Another Sound Idea

    Throughout the debate over liberals’ health care proposals, it has become clear that  while Americans want health care reform, they reject the direction of the legislation that will be voted on in the House this weekend.  The current health care bill results in a government takeover of the health care system by imposing strict regulations on insurers, mandates on employers and individuals, and an expansion of costly and inefficient entitlements.  States and citizens alike are rebelling against the bill in a bipartisan manner.  State legislators reject the bill because it significantly reduces their authority over health insurance markets and flexibility in managing Medicaid. With only 47 percent believing that it is the federal government’s responsibility to ensure coverage, Americans are rightly alarmed by the intrusive nature of the legislation.

    Former Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) recently worked with the Heritage Foundation to outline a solution that promotes individual freedom in health care markets:  interstate commerce contracts among states. Interstate commerce for health insurers would create robust competition, lowering costs for the citizens of the allied states.  It is a step towards reform that states can take without action from Washington.  As Rep. Feeney remarks:

    The genius of the American federal system provides a natural set of diverse alternatives to centralized system of planning—which would force 300 million Americans into a collectivist straight jacket where all key decisions will ultimately be made in Washington.

    Interstate commerce would go a long ways to better America’s health care system.  Interstate contracts are health insurance exchanges across states that create larger insurance markets and enhance competition among insurers.  By allowing citizens of other states to purchase cost-effective plans across state borders, they promote individual freedom to choose among competing plans that offer the best combination of cost and coverage levels.  Done correctly, interstate commerce will reduce bureaucracy, provide simplified one-stop shopping, allow people to get better and more varied health coverage. The nest step is for Congress to enable people to take their plans from job to job without losing the tax benefits of employer-based coverage.

    It is important to note that states legislators are currently fully within their constitutional rights to make interstate compacts in the insurance markets.  The Constitution authorizes states to engage in multilateral agreements that support interstate commerce.  It reserves state powers for self governance, including the power to enter into agreement to facilitate interactions between citizens of one state and another.  So long that a state does not restrict commerce in other states, they are not restricted by the commerce clause.  Interstate compacts in health insurance markets expand options outside their jurisdiction.  In health insurance markets, states are the supreme authority.

    Health care debate can serve as a catalyst for the rebirth of federalism, and no area is more advantageous for state reform than health care.  States governments and the American people have already voiced their complaints about the perils of the federal  health care legislation.  It is now time for state legislators to take the lead on health care reform.  The best way to do this is by entering into interstate compacts with other states that promote individual freedoms.

    Rick Sherwood currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/About/Internships-Young-Leaders/The-Heritage-Foundation-Internship-Program

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Interstate Compacts for Health Insurance is Yet Another Sound Idea

    1. Billie says:

      Pelosi says "we need to do this for the American people." clarification, "we need to do this for 40 million people and the growth of government.

      TRUE COURAGE is a VOTE NO!

    2. Billie says:

      we don't even know if the 30 million are American or not?

    3. Barbara Frances Delo says:

      I am just plowing thru 50 pgs of COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS, CHARTS, and STUDIES on vehicle pollution for a class & I feel like crying. I realize how many of America's hard earned tax $$$ will go for just this type of thing in the proposed healthcare plan. I'd rather that $$$ be spent for the best available medicine, smart well-trained doctors, and a nurse's careful hands placing pillows and providing my care when I'm sick.

      I am a nurse, and I know that the closer medical decision making is to the patient, the better it is for the patient – and the fewer $$$ are taken from the patient for bureaucratic costs!!!

    4. Kevin Aldrich, Buena says:

      The issues that started the American Revolution and the Civil War pale in comparison to what this government is imposing on the American people with it's Obamacare and the rest of it's socialist agenda. God save the United States.

    5. MS says:

      See the Senate reform bill (H.R. 3590), specifically "SEC. 1333. PROVISIONS RELATING TO OFFERING OF PLANS IN MORE THAN ONE STATE, (a) Health Care Choice Compacts- ".

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    8. Gary, PA says:

      There are so many issues that need rectified prior to the federal government stepping on the states' rights. This is yet another example.

      Of course, I would argue, as I have on my blog at http://www.goodwrites.com, that the primary concern is the rights of the individual. We are abdicating our rights as citizens. We have elected officials gleefully proclaiming their joy at "creating new rights for the citizens of the United States."

      Yet. In "creating" these rights, they have robbed our rights. They have stolen the rights of many and given them to a few. More importantly, the have failed to uphold their oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States when the Preamble tells them they must "secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity."

    9. Steve K - MD says:

      AMAZING – the main provisions of the plan you lay out is EXACTLY what will get passed tonight – awesome!

      ''Interstate commerce would go a long ways to better America’s health care system. Interstate contracts are health insurance exchanges across states that create larger insurance markets and enhance competition among insurers.'' — THE plan passed tonight does exactly this by creating exchanges. Great idea!

      ''The nest step is for Congress to enable people to take their plans from job to job without losing the tax benefits of employer-based coverage.'' — THE plan passed tonight does exactly this by creating exchanges. Great idea!

      Looks like you all wrote the bill to be passed tonight!

    10. Janice Boone - Mobil says:

      Why are states only now willing to allow "interstate commerce" regarding health care insurance? If this had been a policy among the states to begin with, we would not be in this perdicament now. Individual states' elected officials must carry their share of responsibility for the communist takeover of the United States of America. Politicians at all levels care about only two things: 1) protecting their turf and 2) lying to their constituents in order to get re-elected.

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