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.
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