Wednesday, November 12, 2008

'Sen. Baucus Brings Back the Health Insurance Mandate'

WSJ Health Blog post here (via TPM).

The morning papers bring word that Max Baucus, the powerful Montana Dem who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, is rolling out a big health reform plan today.

It has a lot in common with Barack Obama’s plan, and at least one major difference: It would require everyone to buy health insurance.

There is a bit of deja vu here. We heard a lot about an insurance mandate during the Democratic primaries, because Hillary Clinton, like Baucus, argued that everyone should be required to buy health insurance. Obama says all children should be required to have health insurance, but has not supported a mandate for adults.

Both the Obama and Baucus plans would offer government-backed plans to more citizens, and would bar insurers from denying coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. The Baucus plan seems to acknowledge that, without a mandate, this could give people an incentive to wait until they are sick to buy insurance.

“Insurance works because policyholders pay into their plans when healthy, and have their medical bills paid when they are sick,” he said in his proposal, the WSJ reports. . . .

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