Mitt Romney unveils a new health care plan

And its got some good points, such as minimizing the restrictions states have on what counts as “insurance.” Most states have some pretty hefty regulations, such as requiring insurance to include chiropractic services or alcohol/drug treatment programs (some even mandate coverage for acupuncture). It’s not that I don’t think those services are useful for some people, but it’s silly to require everyone to purchase plans that include something many will never use – it drives up the cost of insurance premiums thus making insurance out of reach for many people.

Stuart Altman, a health economist, says that Romney has “run away from the Massachusetts plan.” It may be a very different plan, and it is likely that some will criticize this change in strategy, but Romney’s goal in both instances is to increase access to health care. Personally, I think this new plan has a greater chance for long-term survival and positive change than the Massachussetts Plan – the old idea was an attempt at patching a broken system (requiring people to purchase insurance), while this is more of an attempt of fixing the cause of the problem (looking at ways to lower the cost of insurance so more people can afford it). It will be interesting to see what else he has to say about health care along the campaign trail.

NY Times – “Romney to Pitch a State-by-State Health Insurance Plan

Michael Tanner of Cato – “Romney Abandons RomneyCare

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