Healthcare

The individual mandate struck down…again. Being happy about that has consequences

There is joy in some quarters, consternation is others. Another court has said that the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. I am not an attorney and certainly not an expert on the Constitution, but this seems like a stretch to me. There are many mandates we all live under every day of our lives. However, whatever your point of view on this matter, what should we do as an alternative?

Keep in mind I am being quite selfish here and you should be as well. The people who choose not to carry health insurance cost you money, lots of money. They cost you in terms of paying for uncompensated care and because the better risks, those individuals with no or very low health care expenses, are not paying premiums and therefore your premiums are higher than they otherwise would be.

If you believe people have a right to not buy something they believe they don’t need, consider that health insurance is not like buying any other product or service. If you choose not to buy homeowners insurance and your house burns down, that’s your tough luck, you get to appear crying on the evening news. If you don’t buy health insurance and your child becomes very ill, you also get to cry, but in this case your child will receive health care and somebody else will pay for it. We have not reached the point where we leave people lying in the street to die. This is really about paying ones (dare I say it) “fair share.”

Families with  incomes under about $80,000 will be subsidized when purchasing health insurance through the new exchanges coming in 2014, but that does not make insurance affordable, it will still be expensive and that may cause many people to decide it is better to simply pay the penalty and forego insurance, but they are still not giving up health care when it is needed.

Americans who oppose all or portions of Obamacare – that includes me – better have a viable alternative and that means you cannot ignore the fact that many people will act in their own best interest at the expense of others.  The primary problem with health care is the cost, when we lose site of that we get it wrong.

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