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Does Obamacare Let People Purchase Insurance Across State Lines?

Not really.

1:33 PM, Feb 16, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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A Politico piece parsing the "myths" that Democrats and Republicans have created about health care ends up perpetuating one: "the Senate bill allows families and businesses to purchase insurance across state lines, a favorite policy proposal of the right."

Reihan Salam has debunked this:

When the president claims that the Senate health-care bill he still hopes to salvage includes many Republican ideas, he's stretching. Republicans wanted interstate competition for insurance policies, allowing New Yorkers to buy South Dakota policies that have fewer expensive mandates. The bill allows states to form interstate compacts, allowing New York to decide that New Yorkers can buy policies from certain other states—almost certainly other states with similarly stiff regulations. Just as the Harlem Globetrotters always choose to play the hapless Washington Generals, this isn't a real competition: It has the form of a Republican idea, but not the substance. And liberals offer a pretty good reason for not allowing real interstate competition: It might mean that all of the healthiest people in a state will flock to buy barebones policies registered in states with lax regulations, leaving the state government to deal with the oldest and the sickest. Rather than acknowledge this deep difference, however, the president insists that he's incorporated a Republican idea.

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