Tuesday, September 18, 2012

23. Individual Mandate

Both Romneycare in Massachusetts and Obamacare require all individuals to carry health
insurance, and both penalize people who don’t. In addition, both plans require insurance
companies to issue insurance to anyone at any time, regardless of pre-existing conditions.
This is referred to as “guarantee issue”. All this sounds great right? Let’s look at how this
works for some folks in Massachusetts: in 2010, an insurance policy for a family of 4 in
Massachusetts was between $15-20,000—that’s a lot of money. So many folks decided not
to get insurance and just pay the relatively small penalty rather than the high premiums.
When they got sick, they were guaranteed a new health insurance policy. They’d pay the
premiums, have their medical expenses covered, then drop the policy when they were well
again. Gee….what’s wrong with this picture? Isn’t everyone just supposed to have insurance
all the time? Can’t everyone just play nice and be responsible? Of course, with Obamacare,
things will be different, right?

Let’s face it folks—the minute a new rule is made, someone is going to find a way to get
around it! Then they make another rule to get around that, and the cycle begins. Pretty soon,
we have millions of pages of rules and a system that still doesn’t work. Rather than forcing
people to get insurance, forcing insurance companies to issue insurance, and forcing doctors
to lose money seeing Medicare and Medicaid patients, how about fixing the system by getting
RID of some of the rules? Give doctors, patients, states and insurers the flexibility to make a
few rules of their own; and then GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF THEIR WAY!! How about
encouraging patients to save money to take care of themselves, rather than forcing them
to depend on government programs? We could save Medicare and Social Security just by
allowing people to save their own money through tax incentives. There will always be those
people who need extra help, due to circumstances beyond their control. So let’s let private
charities and the government help those folks, and let us take care of ourselves! As for
those of our citizens who are perfectly capable of caring for themselves, but who refuse…
well, it’s time they learn to live with the consequences of their decisions. It is not my duty to
support them and they do not have the right to steal from me. If they incur medical expenses,
they should be required to pay for them. Period. So let’s lower healthcare costs thru the
marketplace and make it more affordable for folks to have insurance. Government control is
not the answer.

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

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