Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kreidler re: health insurance mandate: "I think personal responsibility is an important thing"

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler this week was interviewed by TVW's Austin Jenkins on the new federal health reform legislation.

Among the topics: the mandate, starting in 2014, requiring people to have coverage or to pay fine.

From Kreidler:

"Clearly there are costs that are borne in the system, but there are also benefits that are generated from them, not the least of which is when you end up having an individual mandate.

 ...There's personal responsibility. I think personal responsbility's an important thing.

If you choose not to have health insurance, and you say `I don't want to buy insurance, I shouldn't be told that I have to buy it' and yet you wind up with a traumatic injury or you're diagnosed with cancer or you're admitted to the hospital -- you're effectively incurring costs that then are pushed back on the rest of us.

I have to write a check then for you to cover you. It's built into my premiums. It's added to my costs.

For a family of four that is insured it's estimated by the Kaiser Family Foundation that in fact you are writing a check of $1,000 a year to pick up the people without health insurance."

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