In February, Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) introduced legislation (H.J.Res.110) that would give Congressional approval to states entering the Health Care Compact. This is an important step forward for one of the most innovative ideas that has been developed to reduce the degree of federal interference in regulating health markets. As Lankford notes in a recent Forbes op-ed, eight state legislatures have already voted to join the Compact.
What happens when a person or family moves from one state to another? How can they keep the same health insurance policy?
One answer is to continue to allow Congress to regulate health insurance. Another is to allow states to figure this out on their own. This is how other lines of insurance are regulated, and there is no crisis of access to life insurance or auto insurance when people change jobs or move to a new state. As I wrote in a previous blog entry, there already is an interstate compact for other lines of insurance, and it works fine:
The Compact established a multi-state public entity, the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission (IIPRC) which serves as an instrumentality of the Member States. The IIPRC serves as a central point of electronic filing for certain insurance products, including life insurance, annuities, disability income and long-term care insurance to develop uniform product standards, affording a high level of protection to purchasers of asset protection insurance products.
All the Congressional Republican alternative health-reform bills recognize that regulating access to health care and health insurance from Washington, DC is a potential minefield. Adding Congressional recognition of a Health Care Compact is an important new development in the evolution of post-Obamacare health reform.