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NTU Supports the Health Care Choice Act
December 12, 2007
The Honorable John Shadegg
Dear Representative Shadegg:
On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in strong support of the Health Care Choice Act. By allowing consumers to purchase health care from out-of-state providers, this legislation would greatly expand the variety of insurance choices in the marketplace, thus reducing the effect of onerous state regulations and bringing costs down.
The number of Americans lacking health insurance is of great concern to many, but it should not serve as a pretext for larger, more intrusive government. The Health Care Choice Act simply opens up restricted state markets and gives consumers additional coverage options -- without the creation of yet another federal program or bureaucracy. This approach addresses the problem while respecting markets and personal freedom.
Some states force their residents to pay for policies that include benefits for such "vital" services as hair prostheses (wigs), infertility treatments, acupuncture, and massage therapy. These mandates raise prices for everyone, despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans have no need for such services. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance estimated that these mandates can hike insurance prices between 20 and 45 percent, yet current law erects a barrier by preventing citizens from seeking lower-cost policies in other states.
The Health Care Choice Act would remove that barrier and harness the power of the marketplace in three important ways. By giving access to a broader range of plans, consumers will have more choices at lower costs. By spurring competition among policymakers, states will have incentives to create the most consumer-friendly regulatory structures and enforcement regimes possible. Finally, by creating a robust, nationwide health insurance market, the Health Care Choice Act will promote efficiency of scale and innovative business models. These developments in turn could enhance the level of service in the health care industry by making insurance more responsive to those purchasing it.
NTU strongly supports Congressional efforts to make health insurance less expensive for Americans through the free market. We look forward to working with you in the future to pass this important piece of legislation.