More alternatives to the individual mandate

From our friends at the GAO, released March 28: Private Health Insurance Coverage:  Expert Views on Approaches to Encourage Voluntary Enrollment.  The report was requested by Senate Dems, maybe as a road map for a post-individual mandate world. The highlights include some now-familiar ideas:

• Modify open enrollment periods and impose late enrollment penalties.

• Expand employers’ roles in auto enrolling and facilitating employees’ health insurance enrollment.

• Conduct a public education and outreach campaign.

• Provide broad access to personalized assistance for health coverage enrollment.

• Allow greater variation in premium rates based on enrollee age.

And also the “road not taken,” using the taxing power to side-step the current constitutional challenge:

• Impose a tax to pay for uncompensated care.

And three newer ideas (at least to me):

• Condition the receipt of certain government services upon proof of health insurance coverage.

The tuition mandate – no federally guaranteed student loans without health insurance! Constitutional under the spending power, but adds administrative complexity.  Why not go all the way – the drivers license mandate?

• Use health insurance agents and brokers differently.

Let’s pay those unemployed health insurance brokers to drag free riders into the system.  Does anyone outside of the industry think this is a good idea?

• Require or encourage credit rating agencies to use health insurance status as a factor in determining credit ratings.

What a terrible idea, on so many levels.

 

 

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