Reihan Ideas

03.22.13

Let's Switch to a National Healthcare Exchange, Maybe?

Reihan Salam writes at Reuters that we should consider a national health care exchange:

Rather than have the federal government build state-based exchanges governed by state insurance regulations, Congress should consider building a national health exchange. Insurance plans sold on the national health exchange would have to be certified by the federal government, just as employer-sponsored health insurance plans offered under ERISA have to meet certain minimum requirements, but regulations and mandates would be kept to a minimum. Whereas families purchasing insurance on state-based exchanges would have to change their policy on moving to another state, a national health exchange would make health insurance truly portable, thus removing a significant burden. And while Congress might eventually mimic state legislatures by imposing expensive regulations and mandates, it would have to bear the cost of the higher subsidies that would be required to keep insurance plans affordable. This is a powerful built-in accountability mechanism.