Policy Forum

Making Coverage Affordable through a Nationwide Marketplace for Health Insurance

March 1, 2005 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST


Featuring Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ); Michael O’Grady, HHS; and Tom Miller, Joint Economic Committee.

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Thousands of federal and state regulations govern the sale of health insurance, restricting who may buy coverage, which benefits must be included, and how coverage is priced. These regulations — which vary widely by state — drive up the cost of health insurance and increase the number of uninsured. An innovative solution to the problem exists: allow people to buy coverage regulated in any state they choose (not just their own). Consumers could shop for the level of coverage they want at a price they can afford, insurers could compete for their business, and states would move to reduce onerous regulations. The panelists will examine the potential bonuses and pitfalls of legislation to enable a nationwide marketplace for health insurance, what the states can do to help, and how consumers would be empowered by a broader marketplace.