This is hardly surprising: Hawaii has had to drop its universal health plan for children because people who could afford to insure their children decided instead to let the state assume their responsibility. From the story:
Hawaii is dropping the only state universal child health care program in the country just seven months after it launched. Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration cited budget shortfalls and other available health care options for eliminating funding for the program. A state official said families were dropping private coverage so their children would be eligible for the subsidized plan.
“People who were already able to afford health care began to stop paying for it so they could get it for free,” said Dr. Kenny Fink, the administrator for Med-QUEST at the Department of Human Services. “I don’t believe that was the intent of the program.”… State health officials argued that most of the children enrolled in the universal child care program previously had private health insurance, indicating that it was helping those who didn’t need it.
See, when the government takes over, we think it is a right and we begin to take less care of our own obligations, expecting others to pay our way. Plus, the benefits were way too generous, free except for a $7 copay per visit! No wonder people decided to foist the responsibility for their kids’ care onto the state!
We can’t give health care away. As much as I wish it were otherwise, it just doesn’t work.