...because it doesn't work!

I'll be watching the first Presidential debate tonight and kibbitzing via Twitter.

Part of the debate will focus on health care, wherein the Republican who prototyped the Affordable Care Act will deny history and reality to separate himself from the Affordable Care Act.

Maybe Mitt Romney will try to distinguish himself from President Barack Obama by repeating his call to allow insurers to sell health policies across state lines. That's one of the few specific health care policies South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem can stammer when asked what she'd do about health care.

The Hill points to new research from Georgetown University that shows that Romney and Noem are both wrong. Given the opportunity, not even the insurance companies want to bother with interstate health insurance:

Although these proposals are often touted as an alternative to the ACA, our analysis in six states found that across state lines laws did not result in a single insurer entering the market or the sale of a single new insurance product. Further, there was no evidence that these initiatives actually bring down costs or increase consumer options. In fact, such proposals could put consumers at risk by limiting state officials’ ability to respond to the needs of their residents and eliminating important state-based protections.

The bottom line: There is no “easy button” to bring down insurance costs and provide consumers with more choices. Quick fix gimmicks such as the across state lines proposals have failed largely because they are unable to address the true barriers to insurance market competition (such as building a provider network) and don’t account for localized health insurance rules. At the same time, if enacted more broadly, these laws could undermine consumer protections by reducing the ability of state regulators to oversee insurers and respond meaningfully to consumer complaints [Sabrina Corlette, "The Impact of Laws to Allow Cross-State Sales of Health Insurance: Few Benefits, Potential Risks for Consumers," The Center on Health Insurance Reforms: CHIR Blog, Ocotber 3, 2012].

Selling insurance across state lines empirically fails. Mitt, Kristi, better strike that failed plan from your websites.