George McGovern on Health Care

George McGovern — of all people — has a fairly balanced and relatively free market op-ed on a number of hot-button issues facing the United States, including the health care crisis. As McGovern rightly points out, one of the reasons that health care is so expensive are all of the state regulations dictation what health care plans must offer,

Health-care paternalism creates another problem that’s rarely mentioned: Many people can’t afford the gold-plated health plans that are the only options available in their states.

Buying health insurance on the Internet and across state lines, where less expensive plans may be available, is prohibited by many state insurance commissions. Despite being able to buy car or home insurance with a mouse click, some state governments require their approved plans for purchase or none at all. It’s as if states dictated that you had to buy a Mercedes or no car at all.

In fact one of the more galling, but common state insurance mandates is for pseudo-medical interventions such as chiropractors, acupuncture, nautropathy and other nonsense. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance (which is a pro-insurance industry group) has a nice couple charts about mandates by state here (PDF download).