Monday, September 26, 2005

Socialized Medicine Goes For Smoke

These are ugly times for those who want to drain taxpayers to fund a government takeover of the healthcare industry.

Federal legislators from both parties are getting the message from constituents that government spending has gone too far. That would make it a bad time to try to sell HillaryCare to a public who knows better.

So here comes Plan B.

A group called Tobacco Free Alliance is pushing a scheme to get states to mandate coverage of smoking cessation products by health insurers.

The mandated coverages that have been forced on Kentucky's health insurers have kept premiums high here. This one is being sold as a cost-saver because of the social costs of smoking that, proponents assume, would decrease if only non-smokers are forced to pay for smokers' patches and nicotine gum. It's just another half-step toward a Canadian-style healthcare system.

No thanks. We need fewer mandates, not more.

There is a bill before Congress that would allow Kentuckians to buy health insurance from other states. That is what we really need. The slim Democrat House majority we are stuck with through the 2006 General Assembly session will cling to what remains of their disastrous 1994 reforms that destroyed the Kentucky health insurance market.