Core of Massachusetts Insurance Mandate ‘Worth Exploring’
California would benefit most by adopting the political process that led to the creation of a health insurance mandate in Massachusetts rather than the details of the plan, according to John McDonough, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Health Care for All, Sacramento Bee columnist Daniel Weintraub writes. McDonough, who helped develop the Massachusetts plan, said he does not think the mandate would work in California.
However, Weintraub writes that "the core idea -- shifting responsibility for health care from employers back to individuals and thus society as a whole -- is worth exploring." First policy makers should focus "on removing barriers that now make it difficult of impossible for individuals to buy their own coverage, and on providing incentives to make it easier for them to do so," according to Weintraub.
Weintraub adds that the "most obvious place to start is the tax code," which he says is biased against individuals who want to purchase their own coverage. It should also be made easier for individuals to join insurance pools to spread the risk, Weintraub recommends.
"String a few of these things together and pretty soon you might have a pretty decent health care reform," Weintraub writes (Weintraub, Sacramento Bee, 8/15).