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Nunez and Legislators Urged to Oppose Mandatory Purchase of Private Health Insurance
Date:9/26/2007

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a letter sent today to California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and key legislators, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) urged their opposition to any health care reform compromise that includes mandatory purchase of private health insurance.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez are rumored to be close to a deal on health care reform that will require every Californian to prove they have a private health insurance policy -- but does not cap how much insurers can charge for it.

The letter is available below and for download at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/LtrCALegOpposeMandatoryHealthIns. pdf

In the letter FTCR wrote:

"A mandatory purchase regime, particularly one without vigorous cost controls and premium regulation, amounts only to a customer delivery system for the fragmented, wasteful private insurance market. It will not solve California's health care problems and will only encourage the industry to demand more money in taxpayer subsidies and premium costs while providing less health care.

"There is a big difference between mandatory participation in a cost- effective government program that protects us all (like Medicare) and being forced to buy an unregulated private product. A mandate may get us closer to universal insurance coverage, but we'll still be far from achieving universal health care. Why? Because the requirement will likely be for "affordable," bare-bones policies -- the kind that come with $5,000 deductibles, big co-pays and holes in coverage and benefits.

...

"Whether [taxpayer] subsidies are provided to those earning 300% or even 450% of the federal poverty level, throwing money at insurers will only encourage them to demand more money and provide less coverage."

Read Jamie
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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
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