Mandated health insurance is wrong

Recently the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments addressing the new health care law, known by many people as Obama-Care.  The most debated part of this new law, and the focus of many to either repeal the whole law, or this part, is the mandate that every person must buy into it.

I personally think this part is very wrong, and perhaps even unconstitutional.  Why should I be required to pay money to a corporation (hint: I’m not fond of big corporations) to get some insurance that very likely won’t suit me?  This is not like the mandated insurance to register a vehicle.  I can opt out of that by walking, taking the taxi, or other means.  Many people don’t own cars.  Not so with health insurance.  I see it as mandating that I “do business with” a corporation.  Others dislike it for a variety of reasons.  And this is a position held by people on both sides of the political road.

It might be different if there was a public option.  Then at least there would be a non-corporation choice.  I might have made that choice if I wasn’t covered by my employer.  But without it, were I not covered, I know that I would definitely reject this law and refuse to buy health insurance.  And I might justify that stance in more technical ways, such as no provider offers 100% coverage, or no caps, or no limits, or no deductible, or no co-pays, or a zero-rescission policy.

What if you are already ill and it’s clear your costs exceed what you can pay.  What price is your “insurance”?  Affordable?  Now that’s not really insurance, is it.  And I suspect in a scenario where someone who the provider knows is ill, will try to do all they can to impede that person from signing up.

The system is just going to get more out of whack the way it is going.  That’s why my stand is for government paid full universal health coverage, often referred to as UHC, or “single payer”.  Critics of this concept say it will increase taxes.  Well, of course it will.  But it will decrease your payments (to corporations) by a larger amount than the tax increase (if it’s all done right).  It is a shift of the payment process from high costs paid to a corporation to new taxes paid to the government.  And it takes all the “market issues” out of being healthy.

In 2009 the cost of health care in the USA was 17.4% of the GDP, $7,960 per person.  Compare that to Norway (9.6%, $5,352) and Sweden (10.0%, $3,722).  Norway and Sweden have universal health care.

Check all the numbers for yourself.  For some fun, check out Afghanistan where health care costs are $57 per person per year.  I don’t expect good care there.  But I do expect it in Sweden which has been ranked as the healthiest country in the world.

Many argue that the USA has the best health care in the world.  But at what price?  We also have the shortest life expectancy of developed countries (not entirely a health care issue, I’m sure).  We also have more health care related lawsuits than other countries.  We are not healthier.

More to read:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500395_162-57404220/why-my-health-plan-will-cost-$55280-a-year/

http://nbcpolitics.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/28/10901255-court-signals-entire-health-care-law-might-need-to-be-struck-down

http://www.good.is/post/cost-of-health-care-by-country-as-compared-to-life-expectancy/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/health-care-costs-affordability_n_1341717.html

http://www.oecd.org/document/11/0,3746,en_2649_37407_16502667_1_1_1_37407,00.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/22/ahip-lobbyist-to-gop-dont_n_329828.html

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2 Responses to Mandated health insurance is wrong

  1. Yes, it is absolutely insane trying to make people buy healthcare. My health insurance is $300 per month and it stinks. You have changed my mind. I would rather pay that in taxes and have universal coverage at 100%. I have heard that in 2013 that the new health care reform is going to change our country dramatically, that taxes and everything will change. I heard on the radio the other day that in 2013 we will have a HUGE tax increase if Congress doesn’t act fast. The word is that they are not going to act at all. I haven’t read everything about the law, but it will affect the middle class the most, I think. Just like everything else, the middle class will get stuck with the bill. Maybe, I should just stop working and get on welfare and have 100% coverage on Medicaid, I would have more money in my pocket and more groceries and not be billed every single time I go to the doctor.

    The middle class is done with paying for everything! Sales taxes, real estate taxes, income taxes, social security, taxes on my cell phone bill, paying for the tags for our vehicles, the list goes on and on. Where does the taxation end? My cash flow has been terrible the past few years due to taxes, Federal, state, and local and SCHOOL TAXES. Also due to the insurance. We do not have a bad income either! Can’t we just have a flat tax? These taxes and insurance premiums are killing the middle class. Alot of people have given up and just went on welfare, just to be able to afford groceries (which the prices have got up significantly). I have to pay a fee just to have my DOG. That’s crazy. Noticed a marked increase in hidden taxes, that people don’t realize they are paying at the local level where I live. It has to stop, we can’t afford all of this! My rant for the day.

  2. I agree with you that single-payer or another public option (other countries have several different kinds) is better than the mandate, but the GOP (all) and a few Dems (with insurance companies as heavy contributors) refused to vote for anything BUT the mandate. That’s why it’s there. I don’t know how much public outrage it would take to get Congress out of the pocket of insurers and the drug companies, both of which have the vested interest to keep things as they are (dog eat dog). People have been so easily lied to about what is actually in the act, most of which hasn’t even gone into effect! I’m pretty depressed about the whole thing.

    If Americans faced facts, no one would rationally suggest that we have the best health care system. Our nation is nowhere near the top of the list in life expectancy or infant mortality rates. We don’t even control common problems like influenza, diabetes or pneumonia as well as many other countries. What we do have is a lot of expensive specialists available to treat the small number of patients who are rich enough to afford “Cadillac” insurance plans, people like those in Congress.

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