According to an August 25, 2013 story in the Washington Times, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and reiterated his desire to see the Affordable Health Care Act defunded. However, in response to a question of what he would like to see enacted in its place, Cruz proposed three reforms.
“He said that Americans should be allowed to build up health savings accounts in a tax-advantaged way, that health coverage should be ‘personal and portable” and divorced from employment, and that consumers should be allowed to purchase health insurance across state lines instead of quarantining policy options to the individual states.”
Employer offered health insurance is often subsidized by the employer and can be written off as a tax expense. Cruz seems to be angling to transform the health insurance industry to more resemble insurance for cars and homes, something that individuals and families would buy in the free market, thus spurring competition. Allowing consumers to buy health insurance across state lines would expand that market and spur competition further. Finally, expanding health savings accounts would allow patients to buy health care services directly, reducing paperwork by doctors and other health care providers and further driving down costs.
Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and once and possibly future presidential candidate, opposes allowing people to buy insurance across state lines because they would “pollute” the policies that Vermonters and others have built up.