The slide toward a government-dominated, taxpayer-supported health sector will continue unless the 45.7 million Americans who don't have insurance now are given more opportunities to buy private coverage.
States could help by lightening their regulatory burdens to encourage greater competition for more attractive and affordable coverage. The federal government needs to do its part by updating today's tax policies to better fit a mobile, 21st-century economy.
The cost of health insurance varies widely, but it is closely tied to state regulations and legislative mandates dictating what services and providers must be covered. More regulation and less competition generally mean less affordable coverage, and vice versa.
Freeing Americans to buy health insurance across state lines would give people more choices in health care. And giving individuals a direct tax break for purchasing coverage would put armies of consumers to work to find affordable policies.
The complex problems in our health sector are best cured by a bigger dose of market competition, not more government intervention.