States Must Be Allowed To Experiment with Health Care
The federal government presents "an obstacle" to providing universal health care coverage, Bruce Bodaken, chair and CEO of Blue Shield of California, writes in a Sacramento Bee opinion piece.
According to Bodaken, federal insurance programs cover nearly 30% of the U.S. population and "federal tax incentives are a critical financing source for private coverage," making it "virtually impossible to fix the health care system without Washington's help."
According to Bodaken, Congress must "partner with states that want to experiment with new approaches to cover the uninsured," including strategies such as legislation "designed to improve access to health care from all political perspectives." Under the bill, "states could impose an individual mandate, strengthen the employer-based system or offer less expensive plans that encourage preventive care and provide catastrophic coverage," Bodaken states.
Bodaken says he is "convinced" that if such legislation is approved, "California's private sector leaders would join the next governor to embrace the challenge" of expanding health insurance programs (Bodaken, Sacramento Bee, 6/20).