More Affordable Insurance? Tear Down the Walls

To help make health insurance more affordable for all Oregonians, legislators have at least three no-cost options to advance. First, allow Oregonians to purchase insurance from companies operating in other states, especially states that have fewer mandates, where more affordable options likely exist. Second, reduce the number of, or eliminate all, mandates on policies sold in Oregon. Mandates reduce personal choice and drive up the cost of policies. Third, simply allow insurers operating in Oregon to offer exclusionary coverage. For example, I know a man who had knee surgery. He was willing to exclude the knee from coverage for some time, until it would no longer be considered a pre-existing condition. But, the law prohibits this option. Such complete-coverage-or-no-coverage-at-all laws are counterproductive. To make health insurance more affordable, the Oregon Legislature need only knock down government-erected barriers and allow consumers to decide what is best for themselves. Democrats, now in control of all branches, speak loudly about being pro-choice and pro-consumer. Let’s see if their actions speak louder.