U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown today filed legislation imposing a moratorium on mandated health insurance coverages and shifting from the Legislature to the Massachusetts Connector Authority the power to reduce the number of mandated coverages that must be included in private health care plans.
Brown also reiterated his opposition to the national health care bill in Congress, saying it raises taxes, increases spending and expands government too much. He pledged to vote to stop it from becoming law.
"In 2006, we were the first in the nation to tackle the issue of getting all of our citizens insured. We have achieved 97 percent coverage. It makes no sense for us through higher taxes and fees to subsidize coverage expansions in other states," said Brown. "Our focus should be on containing costs in our current state health insurance program. One way to tackle that issue is by removing burdensome insurance regulations that drive up the cost of private policies."
Massachusetts law currently mandates that 37 different coverages be included in every health care plan offered in the state. Setting such a high number of mandated coverages means that health care consumers are paying for coverage they do not necessarily need. Examples of mandated coverages include chiropractic services and in vitro fertilization -- expensive therapies that are not used by the average health care consumer but that are factored into the monthly premium.
Brown said insurers should be free to put together policies that are tailored for the needs of their customers. If someone wants chiropractic care, they should purchase a policy that includes it, but no one should be required to buy it if they don't want or need it.
Brown's bill also requires the Connector Authority to annually review the cost, utilization and effectiveness of state mandated coverages-- an assessment that is not currently undertaken. It also places a moratorium on any new mandated benefit legislation, an important cost control move.
Click here to see a copy of Brown's bill, An Act Reducing the Cost of Health Insurance.