Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Federalism Strikes Again

For those looking for healthcare solutions, the benefits of Justice Louis Brandeis's "laboratory" federalism may be of assistance. The states provide microcosms of the larger macrocosm in which to test out political and, dare one say, social ideas.

As Massachusetts has been a laboratory for universal healthcare, Minnesota looks to become a laboratory for market-based reforms. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has suggested, among other things, that Minnesotans be able to purchase health care across state lines. It will be interesting to see what happens to health care costs in MN if the Governor has his way.

We now know from Tim O’Brien, senior vice president at Blue Cross Blue Shield’s headquarters in Boston that "[Mass.] health care reform . . . costs have been much higher than what were anticipated when health care reform went into effect in 2007." The Boston Globe's 9/16/09 headline reads "Health costs to rise again." The report continued: "[P]rompting many employers to reduce benefits and shift additional costs to workers."

1 comment:

David Hutchinson said...

Not the most important question raised by this whole business, but politically, I am interested in how Romney is going to handle his authorship of the Mass. plan in 2012.

Not only has the plan matured and wrought consequences (not the case in 2008), but the high visibility of the health care issue, and the public's growing literacy re: the issue, will require Romney to fix on an explicit evaluation of the plan. And I'm sure the other candidates in the Republican primary, particularly (and alas, to my mind) Palin and Huckabee, will try to make Romney radioactive via his authorship of the administration's inspiration (not really what it is or was, but a way to characterize it that is close enough to the truth for politics).