During last week’s debate, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney once again pledged to repeal Obamacare, but he was light on details about what he would replace it with, other than to suggest that his administration would encourage states to come up with reform plans of their own.
“What we did in Massachusetts is a model for the nation, state by state,” he said. “And I said that at that time. The federal government taking over health care for the entire nation and whisking aside the 10th Amendment, which gives states the rights for these kinds of things, is not the course for America to have a stronger, more vibrant economy.”
But considering that the Massachusetts law was the model for Obamacare, what, other than replicating what Massachusetts did, are the states to do?
High on the list of recommendations in Romney’s health care platform is an idea frequently touted as a silver bullet by conservatives: allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines. Doing so, they say, will increase competition and, consequently, bring down the cost of coverage.
The problem is that no one had done a study to determine definitively whether the across-state-lines idea would work — until now. And the conclusion of that study, conducted by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, is that allowing coverage to be purchased across state lines is much more of a blank than a bullet.
The study also finds that no new federal law is even needed to allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines.
“With or without changes to federal law, states already have full authority to decide whether or not to allow sales across state lines and, if so, under what circumstances,” the study noted.