Stephen Davidson in New York Times on Health Care, State Rights, and Divergent Costs

in Faculty, Health Sector, Markets, Public Policy & Law, News
July 10th, 2012

Stephen M. DavidsonWidely-cited health care expert Stephen M. Davidson, a professor in Boston University School of Management’s Markets, Public Policy & Law Department, has written in a letter to the New York Times about the debate over state rights and the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

Davidson is a frequent blogger on health care for the Huffington Post and author of the recent book Still Broken: Understanding the U.S. Health Care System. His New York Times letter reads,

No Letup in the Health-Law Debate

To the Editor:

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision establishing the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, many Republicans are focusing their opposition on states’ rights. They argue that rather than a “one size fits all” national plan, each state should be able to choose a policy that suits its own conditions. Mitt Romney defends his having championed a similar law in Massachusetts when he was governor in similar terms.

“Some citizens would be denied coverage that similar residents of other states would have—simply because of where they happened to live.”

Let’s not forget an important reality: many states, even if their governors wanted to enact health care reform to provide insurance to 98 percent of the population, as Massachusetts did, cannot afford to do so. And not just because of the recent recession. Some states are much poorer than others. Moreover, those states also tend to have larger numbers of people without insurance and would need to spend more to provide coverage for them.

One result of a state-based health care reform plan, therefore, would be that some citizens would be denied coverage that similar residents of other states would have — simply because of where they happened to live.

STEPHEN M. DAVIDSON
Boston, July 2, 2012

See this letter at the New York Times online.