Maine moves toward more free-market health care with two measures:
- The “new Maine law allows insurers to charge older customers up to five times more than younger ones. But beginning in 2014, the federal healthcare law will cap that ratio at three to one,” reports The Hill. For why allowing insurers to more accurately price their premiums according to risk, see my Pajamas Media article “How to Insure Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions.”This law is in response to a 1993 law establishing community rating in Maine, which restricted how much insurers could vary rates. For a summary of its damaging results, see “Maine Shows Path to Reform,” by Joseph Allumbaugh of the Heartland Institute.
- In the same article, The Hill reports: “The Maine law … lets out-of-state insurers sell policies in Maine without getting a license there. But beginning in 2014, the federal law will require insurers to be licensed in every state where they want to sell coverage through a newly created insurance exchange.” This allows for more competition and gives customers more freedom to by a plan not bloated with mandated benefits they do not need.
Meanwhile, Vermont’s legislature and governor have signed a bill intended to create a government-run monopoly health plan in the state, a.k.a., “single payer.” The Denver Post’s headline reveals its own, and the AP’s bias by referring to Maine’s plan as “universal health care.” But remember having a government-run health plan does not guarantee that you get the medical care you need. The care is by far universal. Health coverage is not health care.
For a critique of Vermont’s plan, see Vermont Takes the Single-Payer Plunge by Pete Suderman at Reason.