Another important issue with Republicans’ health insurance plans is eliminating the current requirement, under the Affordable Care Act, that young and healthy people buy the insurance. Refusal now carries a penalty. The idea is that by spreading the risk, and cost, the insurance is less expensive. If healthy people – those who don’t yet have issues – are part of the “risk” pool, the health insurance doesn’t cost as much.
The objection here is with the penalty clause for failure to participate, giving rise to a tired argument against being “forced” to buy insurance. Un-American, goes the complaint.
Encouraging people to buy insurance – by law or by intimidation – is hardly something new. We must buy car insurance – or, we’re supposed to buy it. Those without it pay dearly if their vehicle is damaged or, worse, they damage someone else’s vehicle. We must buy insurance for our homes. Try getting a loan, or keeping one, without it. Each of these types of insurance carries a certain risk, high to low, and the costs are apportioned accordingly.
We don’t see people complaining about having to buy that kind of insurance – perhaps the cost of it but not the decree, coerced or not.
In this country people buy all kinds of insurance, often due to the promise or possibility of legal or financial consequence if something happens and they don’t have it. As it should be with health insurance. Young and healthy Americans, even those convinced that their salad days will never give way to the main course, are at risk even if they don’t believe it. To carp on about paying for “someone else’s” insurance is pure selfishness and crude delusion.
Without full participation in health insurance, the full engagement of health care will eventually become impossible.
‒ JOHN MARSHALL