Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reforming Health Insurance Via "Citizen Benefits"

There is nothing better about living on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge than receiving my printed copy of National Review, taking it to my Marin County hot tub (not the one criticized by George H. W. Bush), and reading it aloud to chardonnay-sipping liberal friends.

Unfortunately, I nearly dropped my brie when I found a fundamental flaw in Reihan Salam and Scott Winship’s proposal for a “Leaner Welfare State” in last week’s issue.

Salam and Winship propose replacing the welfare state with “citizen benefits.” Their conclusion that the welfare state needs dramatic reform is solid. I also agree (as do all conservative health-policy analysts) with their recommendation to amend the tax code to give individuals command of our health-care dollars, instead of allowing employers to have monopolistic control over them.

Unfortunately, the authors also give the government too much power over the alternative, and their proposal violates fundamental principles of effective regulation of insurance.

Read the entire comment here.

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