Illegal Health Care

This article is behind the subscriber wall, but it is relevant to health care reforms in Georgia. From the article:

GOP Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mitt Romney have become media darlings for proposing sweeping state health insurance reforms aimed at achieving “universal” coverage. Now out of office, Mr. Romney is trying to ride his plan to the Republican Presidential nomination. But it turns out state schemes that feature “pay or play” employer taxes or mandates are probably illegal.

At least that’s the clear implication of a significant but underreported ruling last week by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which said that Maryland’s “Fair Share” health legislation — otherwise known as “the Wal-Mart tax” — violates a federal employee-benefits law known by the acronym Erisa.

I think Romney-care will fail because of ERISA, which means it won’t work in Georgia to just re-do it.

With the President set to seek major reforms of national healthcare plans, we might have to put major Georgia reforms on hold, though I think the President’s reforms are DOA in Congress. There is also this interesting tidbit from the column, which I hope our legislature will pay attention to:

Early bids suggest the soon-to-be compulsory insurance policies that will pass muster under the scheme will be expensive — starting at a whopping $380 per month, or $4,560 a year, for an individual. That’s hardly surprising when you look at costs in other states that overregulate their insurance markets, such as New York. But it’s more evidence that the better way to get people covered is to mimic the practices of less-regulated states such as Connecticut, where a 35-year-old man can get covered for as little as $50 per month.

Less regulation, something the GOP has been working on here in Georgia, will have cost benefits.