On the topic of health care reform (which is really health insurance reform), one of the polarizing issues is mandatory insurance subscription by all US
citizens, and for employers to offer the same. The counter-claim is that my freedom as an American includes the freedom to not get insurance. Oops, I meant to say “not get health insurance;” everyone who owns a car is required to have auto insurance, yet that doesn’t seem to bother anyone at all; even companies, large and small, sign up for the auto insurance, no questions asked. I guess it’s natural to want to protect the health and welfare of the cars in which we drive, not our families and our neighbors. But I digress…
So, anyway, I have decided to not get health insurance, as a means of expressing my freedom as an American. However, I am genetically and environmentally predisposed to various illnesses, but I have the right to not get ongoing wellness care to monitor and treat these illnesses. Now I might wake up each morning, proud of my liberty (naturally!) until the one morning I don’t wake up because my vital organs decide they can only continue to function if I’m in a coma. My wife drags me from the bed to the car, and drives my comatose self to the hospital. “No insurance!” She proudly proclaims to the admitting nurse. “After all we are patriotic Americans!” The hospital treats me anyway, because that’s what doctors, nurses, and our health professionals do — they help, they treat, and they cure whenever they can.
When I get home, now awake and feeling better, I get the bill from the hospital. $100,000 is a lot when you don’t have more than $10k in the ol’ bank account. You see, I also got my red-white-and-blue self out of that Social Security ponzi scheme, and exercised my freedom to spend, not save. I can do it better on my own, and I invested in a new Range Rover. I remembered that my great-uncle has a red J-D hat that I really like, so I got a red Range Rover. Very cool. But again, I digress. Must be adult onset ADD, but I’ll never know ’cause I don’t go to the doctor unless I’m dragged there unconscious by my wife.
So I pay the hospital $8k (my Range Rover needed new wheels, so I used the other $2k for that), and the hospital has to write down a $92k loss. QUESTION: Who pays those doctors, nurses, and orderlies who took care of me? Who cares? They can work for free, for all I know or care. Or get it from Medicaid.
Back to reality. For me, that’s where the whole argument against ObamaCare breaks down. The freedom to not get insurance puts the risk and cost of health care on the government and the taxpayers across the board. By not having insurance, wellness care becomes non-existent, making the health emergencies that much more acute, and the cost of care that much greater. At that point, the government has to bail out the uninsured.
The ObamaCare health insurance initiative stipulates that the citizens & corporations share in the risk of health care costs in order to reduce the risk to the government via Medicaid and other social programs. Over time, with individuals taking responsibility and sharing in their health care costs, the burden on the government will be reduced.
Health insurance companies don’t make money by paying out claims, so they disqualify coverage for a host of reasons, “pre-existing conditions” being one of my favorites. The insurance reform act — sorry, again I mean health insurance, not the mandatory auto insurance laws — will
stop the insurance companies from unreasonably denying coverage.
In the example above, if I had my health insurance as will be required by law, then the doctors would be paid, the hospitals would be paid, and I wouldn’t be sticking the government with the bill, either. And from 30,000 feet, it seems that having individuals share in the risks of their own health and wellness equates to less government involvement and a healthier, stronger America.
So if you like government bail-outs, bigger government, and a weaker populace, then you should be against Obamacare, otherwise we should be strongly in favor of the law. I will get health insurance after all, because I don’t want to add to the government’s Medicaid burden, and I certainly don’t want to have my wife drag my comatose carcass to the hospital — what if she drops me and I get hurt? I mean, would Medicaid cover that?