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Pawlenty's 5 Health Care Options: Part 4

Category: Tim Pawlenty
Posted: 02/15/10 23:45

by Dave Mindeman

Pawlenty continues his look at health care reforms....

(4) Interstate health-care insurance:

There is no reason a Minnesotan should not be able to buy health insurance from other states. Doing so would dramatically increase insurance choices and cut costs through improved competition. I've proposed legislation to allow Minnesotans to buy health insurance from other states and am working with other governors to establish an interstate purchasing pool with strict standards. This system would be modeled after the similar insurance exchange that has made life insurance easier to purchase in more than 30 states since 2006. The federal government could facilitate a similar initiative for interstate health insurance.

Couple of very important points. First, the value of this type of reform depends entirely on the meaning of "strict standards."

Getting reduced costs from other states would be easy if Minnesota is willing to accept a lower quality of care. Minnesota has always opted for strict mandated standards when it comes to care requirements. Many preventitive tests, including a number of test for women, have been made requirements by force of law in Minnesota. Other states don't always meet those same standards and if they were required to, the premium costs are bound to go up. Maybe some out of state insurance companies will be willing to meet those same standards at a lower cost to enter a new market, but for how long?

Again, Pawlenty makes assumptions that have no factual experience to back him up. To compare Life Insurance competition to Health Insurance is ludicrous.

But, it all sounds good to a national audience and, after all, isn't that what's important?
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