The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

DeMint Promotes Interstate Health Insurance Competition

with 4 comments


Sen. Jim DeMint, seen here at a press conference earlier this year, spoke to about 400 individials Monday at the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association meeting in Charleston.

Sen. Jim DeMint spoke Monday morning at the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association meeting in Charleston. The event – which drew about 400 attendees – was billed as a discussion on the economy and other political issues but it quickly became evident that health care would be the only topic discussed.

The crowd was almost entirely in support of Sen. DeMint – which was expected given the venue.

Sen. DeMint began his talk by outlining S 1324, the Health Care Freedom Act, which he proposed in the Senate. The bill would implement the following reforms:

  • Allow individuals to buy insurance plans across state lines;
  • Provide a $5,000 tax rebate to families and $2,500 to individuals which can be used toward buying health insurance. The goal is to provide a fairer tax code, offering the same tax incentives to individuals as those who buy insurance through an employer;
  • Enact tort reform (This idea, in fact, received the loudest ovation);
  • Gives states $25 billion block grants to pool high-risk individuals; and
  • Promote the use of Health Savings Accounts.

The proposal to remove barriers that prohibit buying insurance across state lines is one of the simplest, yet least understood concepts behind DeMint’s reform package.

Democrats have dismissed the notion that this can be effective. That’s because, as Sen. DeMint pointed out, few Congressmen, much less the president, believe in the free-market concept of the invisible hand.

But if citizens were allowed to buy insurance from any state, they could create insurance plans that best fit their personal needs. This would drive prices down, as insurance companies would be forced to compete against one another.

Today, however, large insurers – virtually all of which support ObamaCare – hold a monopoly in most states.

For example, according to the website, “Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina alone constitutes 66 percent of the health insurance market share in South Carolina, with the top two insurance providers accounting for 75 percent.”

The easiest way to provide more options to citizens is to allow them to buy insurance plans from other states. South Carolinians would then be able to choose options that provide lower premiums and coverage better tailored to suit their individual preferences.


Written by Geoff Pallay

August 19, 2009 at 3:31 pm

4 Responses

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  1. I am not convinced that competition across state lines will solve the problem. It may help as will many of the Senator’s other proposals.

    What I do know is that we need to change a FEW regulations regarding insurance – pre-existing conditions for one.

    We need to be able to AFFORD whatever bill emerges and be open and honest about the short AND long term cost.

    We need to have all of Congress meet with their electorate not just a third of them as has been reported. People have fought and died to defend our freedoms — particularly assembly, press and speech. For elected officials not to meet with those they represent on a topic as important as health care tells me that they don’t have an open mind, reflect the views of those that elect them (and I don’t just mean the ones that come out whatever side they are on). It tells me the voters in those districts and states should hold them accountable for not listening the people they are sworn to represent.

    Kudos to Senator DeMint for listening and reflecting on what he is hearing.

    Follow the health care debate and other health care delivery issues at

  2. […] This post was Twitted by gpallay […]

    Twitted by gpallay

    August 19, 2009 at 4:32 pm

  3. […] blog of the South Carolina Policy Council DeMint Promotes Interstate Health Insurance Competition… Sen. Jim DeMint, seen here at a press conference earlier this year, spoke to about 400 individials […]

  4. […] discussed here and here, South Carolina has hosted a number of health care town halls over the past few […]

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