Policy Documents

How Mandates Increase Costs and Reduce Access to Health Care Coverage

Paul Guppy –
June 1, 2002

In this policy brief by Paul Guppy, the argument is made of the link between "raising costs facing businesses and families in Washington" as well as the heavy government regulations placed upon the health insurance sectors and the increasing costs of health care thereby reducing availability/access of coverage to consumers.

State imposed mandates are a factor in the rise of insurance costs thus causing a significant rise in the number of families uninsured.

Specifically, this study looks at:

  • The reasons mandates are imposed;
  • The role of mandates in increasing insurance costs;
  • The link between mandates and the rising number of uninsured;
  • The disproportionate impact mandates have on small businesses, and;
  • Steps taken by other states to ease the higher cost mandates bring to state insurance markets.

Finally, this study presents practical recommendations for improving the way health insurance is regulated in Washington.  These proposals are intended to show how trimming mandated requirements and adopting effective, consumer based reforms can reduce the number of uninsured by making affordable, high quality health coverage more readilty available to those who need it most.