As socialists try to convince people to buy the rotten fish known as government health care, a major obstacle in this first step toward full socialized medicine is convincing people that mandating health insurance is no big deal.
We have a long tradition in America of freedom, of personal responsibility, of telling the government to butt out of our lives, and having the liberties protected by the Constitution to back that up.
So is it really no big deal to have the federal government force you to spend your hard-earned dollars on a health insurance policy, whether you need or want it? Is it really just like the requirement for car owners to have car insurance?
From Judson Berger at Fox News:
It’s true that most states require drivers to carry auto insurance. And it’s equally true that the administration wants a federal law that will require individuals and employers to buy health insurance. But the similarities end there. Now critics are starting to urge the administration to use a different, more representative comparison to justify a virtually unprecedented federal mandate. The inconsistencies in the comparison are numerous and glaring. First, the auto insurance mandate is easily avoidable. If you don’t want to pay, don’t drive a car. Don’t want to pay for health insurance? Drop dead.
Another difference is that with auto insurance, the purpose of said insurance is to protect someone else. In the case of liability insurance, it protects the other driver from financial loss in the event you make a mistake that results in an accident. In the case of lender-required full insurance, it protects the lender from default on the loan in the event you wreck a brand new car that you can’t pay for while also paying for a new new car that you need to drive to work.
Meanwhile, health insurance is intended to protect you. It should therefore be your choice whether you get it or not, and if you don’t get it and run into big medical bills, well, principles of responsibility dictates you pay for it yourself, even if you have to make payments for years (as I once did), or get help from a relative, friend or charity.
Also, unlike health care insurance, auto insurance doesn’t cover things like new tires, oil changes, paint jobs not related to traffic accidents, transmission fluid changes, spark plug changes, and simple trips to the mechanic to “see if anything might be wrong” with your car.
This is one of the areas where health care costs skyrocket, and they vary greatly while doing so. Some people run to the doctor for the slightest discomfort or even for a little attention, while others don’t see the doctor unless they are in debilitating pain or totally unable to work.
You’re also not too terribly likely to do highly destructive things to your car because you know your car insurance will fix it. I doubt anyone will be putting diesel in their gasoline-engine car, but plenty of people will put large amounts of alcohol or smoke in their bodies, driving up premiums and costs for those who take care of their bodies.
To put it more simply, health care and health care coverage is far, far more open to abuse than is auto insurance.
And if you try to say that people don’t abuse “free” or even low-cost health care, you’re either very ignorant or an outright liar.
Having spent several years living under the military health care system in the 1980s and 1990s, and under the British socialized health care system, I have not only seen how broken-down the system is from massive over-use by countless people, I have witnessed many of those people utilizing the health care system for things I’d walk to the store to get medicine for and treat myself. I have witnessed people waste hours out of their day going to obtain “free” doctor visits and medicine that I could get in 10 minutes at the store for under $10.
The advocates of this current “first step” of government health care have made their intentions clear; they have stated their ultimate goal is a full government system.
Therefore don’t be misled by their obfuscation and distorted analogies to things that have legitimacy. A government health care system is ill-advised, inefficient, wasteful, detrimental to freedom and illegal according to the U.S. Constitution.
Instead of trying to rush headlong into the same mistake made by socialist countries around the world, America needs to be setting a clear example to the rest of the world. We need to be moving back toward the free market model that made us the greatest nation on earth.
That same free market model can re-energize our health care system, reduce costs, and show the rest of the world how things are done right.