The day after a federal judge ruled Obama Care unconstitutional, the American left is screaming the decision was political. The left is claiming judicial activism. The White House went as far as to say the comparison to the government forcing the public to purchase broccoli ridiculous. The goal of course is the use of Private Insurance to provide universal coverage. The problem is the Government should not mandate the purchase of private products or services. That is what is unconstitutional. The left believes that forcing individuals to purchase private insurance provides health care to all. That simply is not the case.
Insurance is a gamble for the companies that provide it to consumers. The gamble is that the premiums taken in will provide reimbursement for any claims and yet still allow the company to earn a normal profit. High risk behavior will either have one deemed uninsurable at worse or charged at higher rates at a minimum. Recently I purchased a home and to have the mortgage company underwrite the loan “home owners” insurance was necessary. While shopping around for the insurance, the first question asked by every potential insurer was “have you made a claim recently”? To some companies recently meant in the last 5 years, while in others it was in the last 10 years. Now why might you think they asked this question? Of course it was to set the premiums at the appropriate risk level or deny me coverage. Insurance is taken out by consumers to hedge their bets in life. I want to drive a car and don’t want to have to foot the bill to pay for damages I might have caused in an accident out of my pocket. I take out insurance so that I am covered in the event of an accident. This is the same as any insurance. A concert pianist may take out insurance on their fingers, so that if something were to happen the pianist’s fingers the claimant would have something to fall back on and not everything would be lost. Insurance does not provide anything more than a guarantee that covered items would be reimbursed. Same is true with health insurance. Health insurance does not provide health care. It is a reimbursable mechanism.
So if I am 18 years old, in good health, and in shape, I may not feel it necessary to insure myself. I may find it better to spend my money on other necessities of life. I may know that I can afford to go to a doctor once or twice a year and pay out of pocket my doctor’s fees. Why should I be punished by being mandated to buy insurance so others can be subsidized? Isn’t that why Ma Bell was broken up? Other long distance carriers couldn’t compete because Ma Bell had a monopoly and subsidized long distance rates through higher local call process. This is the same logic the left is using to sell health insurance as health care for all. They must have healthy young people with low risk in the pool (paying higher rates than they should) to subsidize other who will be paying less than they should.
Now I am all for fixing what is wrong with health care in America. Being allowed to sell insurance across states lines thereby increasing competition is a start. Instituting tort reform that will reduce the cost of providing health care is another good start. Cracking down on those that abuse the current medicare and medicade programs and reducing waste and fraud is another good start. Instituting high risk pools and perhaps funding some of the costs associated with these pools may also be a good start. However, mandating everyone purchase a private product to subsidize others is wrong, and not only wrong but apparently unconstitutional. Obama lied to us when he said if we like our current insurance we could keep it. In the case of employer provided insurance it is up to the employer and not the individual. In the case of private insurance the wealthy will have to pay an even larger share due to the taxes on the so called “Cadillac plans”. So the government mandates that everyone is insured and then mandates what is essentially a cap on the insurance on the high end. Then the left has the nerve to comment that the health care bill was not a governmental takeover of our health care. Obama’s signature piece of legislation is going up in flames.