Media Advisory: Health Insurance Mandate Bad Idea, Experts Say

October 19, 2006
Michael Van Winkle

(October 19, 2006 - Chicago, Illinois) On September 25, the 14-member advisory panel Citizens' Health Care Working Group, created by the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, announced recommendations that all Americans be guaranteed access to "a set of core health care services." Decisions about what to include in the core set of services would be made by considering "evidence-based science" and "expert-consensus regarding the medical effectiveness of treatments."

Not everyone supports the panel's recommendations. "The idea is that someone, somewhere, gets to decide whether to use taxpayer dollars to pay for your medical services," said Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care, a watchdog organization that promotes free-market health care policy. "Patients should be scared to death."

Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), said the recommendations, if implemented, would make it more difficult for people to get the care they want or need.

When the market is controlled by monopolies or government forces, Orient explained, physicians have little incentive for bringing their services to market. In addition, Orient said, requiring all citizens to purchase health insurance will further reduce incentives for the insurance industry and health care providers to create effective, market-driven solutions to problems of access or cost.

To contact Twila Base for further comment on this issue call 651/646-8935 or email twila@cchconline.org.

To contact Dr. Jane Orient for further comment on this issue call 800/635-1196 or email jorient@mindspring.com.


For more information about The Heartland Institute, visit its Web site at http://www.heartland.org or contact Michael Van Winkle at 312/377-4000 or email vanwinkle@heartland.org

This advisory was adapted from a story in the November issue of Health Care News by Hilary Oswald. For a free email subscription to Health Care News go to: http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artID=10481.