The answer is 42.
The question? Not Douglas Adams’s Ultimate Question concerning “life, the universe, and everything.” Instead, it’s the answer to the question, “How many mandates does the State of Oregon place on the medical insurance packages Oregonians are allowed to buy?”
The number is far too large — and yet the number will likely increase this year, courtesy of the state legislature, despite the fact that the current mandates raise the cost of medical insurance for Oregonians.
Steve Buckstein, speaking before the state’s House Committee on Health Care, for-instanced Iowa, which sports 16 fewer mandates. The state has lower percentages of uninsured folks and lower premiums than in states with higher numbers of required services.
Buckstein, a policy analyst for Cascade Policy Institute, was arguing for HB 2977, which would allow Oregonians to purchase medical insurance from other states. This would add competition to the current highly over-regulated market.
Buckstein shouldn’t have to do this. The purpose of the federal union was to create a vast free trade zone. Misguided state mandates such as the ones he’s fighting rest upon prohibiting state citizens from buying outside the state, which runs up against the grain of the Constitution. For too long Congress has exempted the medical insurance industry from the correct application of the Commerce Clause, leading to a crippled industry and opening the way for disastrously unworkable ideas like, well, “Obamacare.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.