Insuring children

Pawlenty’s politics are preventing children from being covered.

Daily Editorial Board

Republican Gov. Tim PawlentyâÄôs opposition to new federal health care reform runs so deep that he will not even stand up for one of its most uncontroversial provisions: the requirement that insurance companies offer individual policies for âÄî of all people âÄî sick children.
By law, those policies should have been available Sept. 23. But rather than all insurers putting child-only polices on the market by that date, two of MinnesotaâÄôs largest insurance companies have actually cut them.
This strategy is good business sense and it shows the necessity of health care reform: to ensure that those most in need of medical care are be able to afford it.
Other states âÄî where childrenâÄôs health care is not being withheld for political ends âÄî have forced all health insurers to implement a common enrollment period once or twice a year, spreading out child-only plans between many insurers and preventing parents from waiting until their
children are sick before covering them.
Minnesota regulators were initially headed in the same direction before Pawlenty decided not to cooperate with the new federal laws. Taking their cue from him, MinnesotaâÄôs Department of Commerce has refused to enforce compliance with the law.
ItâÄôs rare for a politician to stand on principal, so maybe Pawlenty should be commended for his courage. But then again, his stance is keeping sick children from affording the medical care they need, and thatâÄôs just wrong.