Senators Fault Conclusions on Lack of Health Insurance
A Jan. 4 Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York and an adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, "missed the mark on a number of key principles of the Healthy Americans Act ... and about the current debate on health reform," Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Bob Bennett (R-Utah), who co-sponsor the legislation, write in a Journal letter to the editor (Wyden/Bennett, Wall Street Journal, 1/9).
McCaughey in the opinion piece wrote, "Requiring catastrophic coverage ... probably is smart," but a requirement that "everyone have comprehensive health insurance, covering preventive and routine care," is not "really a good idea."
She wrote, "Requiring comprehensive coverage, the argument goes, will make it affordable for the sick, by pulling the young and the healthy ... into the insurance pool" and "will cure overcrowded emergency rooms and help tame skyrocketing health costs." However, such "arguments are based on myths, not facts," according to McCaughey (California Healthline, 1/4).
Wyden and Bennett write, "McCaughey claims the growing number of uninsured Americans is largely due to immigration or the decision by those who can afford coverage not to buy it," but the "increase in the numbers of uninsured Americans has more to do with the decline in employer-sponsored health insurance and the fact that health insurance is becoming too expensive for many workers, families or individuals to afford."
The Healthy Americans Act "would tackle these problems by giving individuals private-sector choice for health care not tied to their employment, fixing the tax code to eliminate inefficient subsidies for health care and providing sliding scale subsidies to ensure health care is affordable and accessible for all Americans" (Wall Street Journal, 1/9).