Waaaaait a minute.
There’s a big flaw in this logic.
The law allows states to opt out of “mandatory benefits.”
Insurance is a contract. There are different things against which to insure, different levels and types of coverage, etc…
The CBO seems to assume that every carrier operating in a state that doesn’t mandate X will opt not to cover X, and that thus, those who end up dealing with X will have to pay for the cost of addressing X.
That makes no economic sense.
Some carriers will offer to cover X to attract consumers who want X covered — for whom X is relevant — and those consumers will either pay more or opt for a policy that covers X but not Y, which is not relevant for them.
Why would it work that way?
It used to work that way when States did not put strict limits on the allowable types of insurance and coverage levels.
And it works that way for every good and service.
A massage at the Chinese place is a dollar per minute.
The lady speaks almost no English, does what she does, at best can be directed to focus on your hamstring versus your calf or back, or soften up rather than knead you like dough. It’s dark, it’s not terribly clean, and afterwards all you get is a cup of water and a piece of Chinese candy. But there’s one in your neighborhood, it’s open late, it’s cheap, you can usually go in without having made an appointment (i.e., if you feel a knot after working out) and as noted above you won’t break the bank over 15 minutes of it.
A massage at Great Jones is performed by a trained sports therapy technician who speaks English and can follow direction, includes time in the water and steam room areas afterward, is cleaner, is more social, is well-lit, but costs more, is open during only certain times, is located in NoHo, and requires an appointment.
You have OPTIONS.
If Cuomo or DeBlasio, steeped in economic ignorance, were to mandate that all massage places be well-lit and include the water room and steam/sauna area, along with technicians who spoke English as a first language, there would be only one option — Great Jones. It would cost a lot — possibly more than Great Jones does now, since they would not have to compete with the Chinese place. This would not be affordable for many.
Government created this problem by reducing choice. Allowing choice is good. It does not mean no carrier will provide the options that so many people want. It means that different carriers will cover different things — as in any competitive market. You like flame broiled, you go to BK, you like special sauce, you go to McD’s, and neither flame broiled nor special sauce is mandated — amazing.