Monday, October 4, 2010

Stirrin' the Pot at Creative Loafing

Fresh News from Fresh Loaf.

Thomas Wheatley over at Creative Loafing's Fresh Loaf blog has a great post up about Georgia's 45 health insurance mandates and he even cited my blog post from 23 MAY 10 in the article. How cool is that?

I had to respond, here's the post:

Re: “Ralph Hudgens and those pesky mammograms

Greetings All

It's a wonderful thing to see some press coverage of the down ballot insurance commissioner's race in Atlanta media as 99% of the political oxygen is being sucked out of the room by the never ending saga of Nathan "Stinky" Deal vs. Arithmetic. It's even nicer to see my own modest work cited as a reference in Mr. Wheatley's article and so I will resist the urge to cut and paste all of it into this comment. It's super cool to see Mary Squires calling press conferences and stuff and watching Ralph Hudgens in the video was a hoot as well. Maybe this race might get more exciting.

As Rule .303 observes, when you add up 45 mandates that range in cost from less than 1% to as high as 10% you wind up with add ons in Georgia estimated to run as high as 20% of your health insurance bill. 

The mandated coverages that deal with strictly female issues comprise 10 of the 33 mandated coverages as listed below (From the Bludgeon & Skewer Blog post 23 MAY 10)

6. Breast Reconstruction add <1% 51 states
7. Cervical Cancer/HPV Screening add <1% 31 states
8. Clamydia add <1% 5 states
19. In Vitro Fertilization add 3% to 5% 15 states
20. Mammography add <1% 50 states
21. Mastectomy add <1% 23 states
22. Mastectomy Minimum Stay add <1% 25 states
23. Maternity add 1% to 3% 23 states
24. Maternity Minimum Stay add <1% 50 states
29. Ovarian Cancer Screening add <1% 7 states

8 of the 10 mandates average less than 1% of your health care insurance costs, Maternity rolls out from 1% to 3% and in-vitro fertilization kicks another 3% to 5% of cost onto every Georgian with a health insurance policy. Clearly the current law is designed to subsidize coverage for some at the expense of the many.

The other 23 mandates pile right on and it turns out we're all paying for cheaper insurance for alcoholics and the morbidly obese. I don't have anything against drinking too much or eating too much, but don't expect me to smile as I pay for it every month of my life because the State says I have to.

A better choice, the Libertarian choice, would be to allow each individual citizen to tailor their health insurance coverage for their own needs and desires in accordance with what they can afford. Unfortunately, we live in state controlled by republicans and democrats so don't expect that showing up as an option.

The real kicker about this issue is there is nothing the Commissioner of Insurance can do about the mandates other than try to educate the voting public about their existence. Like the Insurance Premium Tax, most Georgian's have never heard about the Health Insurance Mandates and have no idea how much money it costs them every month. 

Is there a quick fix? Nope. The long term solution is to vote Libertarian this fall. Vote for John Monds for Governor and vote for every other Libertarian on the ballot including me. If one in five Georgians have had enough and cast their ballots for liberty, we will see change in the state house in 2012. Guaranteed. 

Shane Bruce
Libertarian Candidate for Commissioner of Insurance

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