Healthcare

The utter nonsense of the Republican no insurance mandate argument

When you live as part of a society you don’t always get to pick and choose what you want that primarily benefits you, because if you choose wrong, that society is frequently obligated to bail you out.

Who will pay the costs of health care for that person who exercised their “freedom to choose” when they incur thousands of dollars in bills …or will we simply deny care unless paid in advance?

“Repealing the individual mandate simply restores to people the freedom to choose,” Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who has opposed previous Obamacare repeal efforts, wrote in an opinion piece in Alaska’s Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “Instead of taxing people for not being able to afford coverage, we should be working to reduce costs and provide options.”

Since I have no children in school, I choose to not pay that portion of property taxes going to the board of education. Since I have never smoked, I choose not to pay taxes that go to anti-smoking campaigns.

If I drive a car most states require me buy auto liability insurance and the few states that don’t charge a separate fee or require posting a cash bond.

I don’t get to choose if I want to pay the Medicare payroll tax or not either.

And since I have carried health insurance my whole life and even in retirement pay over $1200 a month, I choose not to pay for the uncompensated care incurred by people who choose not to carry health insurance.

The Republican argument to remove the mandate aside from being economically detrimental and unfair to most Americans, simply makes the case stronger for universal health care when this entire discussion would be irrelevant (and we would have far more to worry about). I wonder how many members of Congress have made the enlightened choice not to carry health insurance?

If a person does not need a lot of insurance let them buy the cheapest plan. Here is one for a 45 year old earning $45,000 a year in Alaska. Can you honestly tell me this person does not spend at least $151 a month on non necessities? Let’s be honest Senator Murkowski, this isn’t about the $151.79, it is about the $442.31 credit.

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2 replies »

  1. My daughter, not yet age 30, in reasonably good health, working for a very modest wage, whose employer claims they need not offer her health coverage, lives in NYC. The lowest cost blue cross/blue shield plan she is offered in the 2018 public exchange, has a $7,350 single deductible (the 2018 maximum out of pocket under health reform) and it will cost her almost $400 in premium (once adjusted for her $100 or so tax credit) each month.

    I checked. Where I live in the midwest, I can find her coverage with a $1,500 deductible, $7,350 out of pocket expense maximum, with the same tax credit, for under $200 a month.

    My understanding of the individual mandate is that she could waive coverage, and because of the premium relative to her income, she could still avoid the individual mandate penalty tax. Problem is, she does not want to go without coverage. So, she will accept a private version of expanded Medicaid (Medicaid insurers who have expanded to offer coverage in the public exchange, but who have a next to nothing network of physicians and service providers) and “only” pay about $300 a month for coverage she can’t use (except should she be hospitalized). And, of course, she’ll be paying those premiums with after tax dollars.

    Did you vote for Obama – even once? Most Americans did. So, stop complaining when you got exactly what he promised – Health Reform legislation designed to buy votes by focusing on access, not cost/expense. And stop complaining about one-off changes proposed by Democrats and Republicans. Most of us, including the DOL, HHS and IRS, knew the law was crap – since the regulations those agencies have issued in implementation are invariably inconsistent with the actual statutory language.

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  2. Of all the states, Alaska pays its residents to live there. The Permanent Fund Dividend in 2016 was $1022. This could easy pay to reduce medical costs in Alaska or each resident can decide which health care plan to buy so that can’t say that they can’t afford it. The dividend would pay almost half of the low end medical premium bill.

    I don’t know. Maybe in Alaska, you truly can’t afford medical coverage if your daily existences depends things for survival like heat. No amount of medical insurance is going to help if they find you as a ice cube.

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