On its surface the mandate to carry health insurance appears to encourage purchase of such coverage as well it should. However, there are still millions of Americans who have not obtained coverage despite the penalties. They have apparently concluded the penalty is better than the premiums they may pay …. that is until the year they or a family member needs expensive health care.
But the penalty is weak in any case as it can only be collected through reduction in an income tax refund. No refund, no actual penalty paid. That and the high cost of premiums, subsidized or not, may explain why there are still 29 million uninsured Americans.
The claim that removal of the penalty kicks people off coverage is silly, nobody is being kicked off; anyone can still gain or drop coverage and anyone eligible can still enroll in Medicaid.
To eliminate the mandate on the bases of savings for the government via lower subsidy payments is short-sighted and based on very iffy estimates. Higher premiums to account for more adverse selection and hence higher subsidies for those insured will continue to grow. And even if the assumptions were accurate, is our goal to save money off the uninformed and outright stupid Americans who may well end up shifting their health care expenses onto taxpayers as uncompensated care?
Then there is the fact the coverage mandate is unpopular … so what? Responsible people buy insurance to protect themselves and their families and in each case don’t they hope they will never need to file a claim?
Categories: Observations on life