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Consumer Group Finds Use of Outdated Data and Other Major Flaws in Economist's Defense of Mandatory Purchase of Private Health Insurance
Date:2/12/2008

ly lead to higher prices and skimpier benefits, as the Massachusetts experience is already demonstrating. Since 1994, there have been more than 400 mergers of managed health care companies. The nation's two largest health insurers, WellPoint and UnitedHealth, control 33 percent of the U.S. commercial health insurance market. In 280 of the 294 U.S. markets, one health insurer accounts for at least 30 percent of the combined HMO/PPO market.

The mandatory purchase proposal became part of the national debate on health care reform after Massachusetts passed such a law last year. California legislators voted down a similar proposal in January, and other states are considering the plan.

Gruber has acknowledged the Massachusetts program's failure to make health care affordable, arguing that the solution is higher financial penalties against consumers. "The mandate has to be enforced," Gruber told the Boston Globe, saying that "[w]e need to think beyond what looks mean and do what's right."

FTCR is a nonprofit and nonpartisan public interest watchdog. For more information, visit us on the web at http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org


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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
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