As the flowing article explains, this all came from hearing someone on the radio talk about the Affordable Care Act. My reasoning is definitely not on the level of brain surgery or rocket science, it didn’t need to be, but it did require some thinking (I highly recommend thinking, it’s quite rewarding) and research (I will eventually do a post on how to research). I have read many books on the Founding Father’s concept of liberty and government and this is the definition I used for the concept of liberty explained below.
I heard an argument for Obama Care (the Affordable Care Act) on the radio not too long ago and I thought I would share… This person was comparing Obama Care to car insurance. He was professing that it does not matter what kind of transportation you take, you pay for insurance. The government forces you to pay car insurance if you drive a car, and if you don’t own a car, you pay the insurance in the form of fees for buses, taxis, and limousines. Sure, you can walk or take a bike to avoid paying insurance but this is not realistic for the majority of people. Therefore, it is no big deal to require every person to buy health insurance. That was the end of his argument.
I thought to myself, this is not a good argument, but I do not know how to argue against it. So I considered the real comparison he was proposing: What is the actual difference between auto insurance and health insurance? Quite simply, the difference is who the insurance is protecting. Law requires drivers have auto insurance in the event that you injure someone else and cause damage to them—this legally required protection is called liability insurance. State law requires drivers to have auto insurance in the event that you injure someone and cause damage to them. This legally-required protection is called liability insurance, “you” being the liable party. Sure, you can have more than only liability, but that is the minimum the law requires.
Health insurance, on the other hand, is available for your own personal protection (life insurance is for your beneficiaries and another discussion altogether). If something goes wrong with you physically or mentally then the insurance you pay for is there to protect you from great financial disaster. When you practice unhealthy lifestyles or choices (such as skydiving, participating in extreme sports, or eating too much) the risk to yourself increases and likewise does the amount of heath insurance you pay because the insurance company is taking a bigger risk in covering you in the plan. You are not causing more risk to other people in any of these situations, only yourself, unlike reckless driving.
Before World War II health insurance was not a company-paid company paid benefit. At that time, a wage and price freeze had be enacted and businesses were looking for a way to compensate their employees in ways other than increased salary; along came low premium health insurance. Imagine for a moment how different our healthcare system would be if everyone had to pay all of their own health insurance premiums.
When the government forces everyone (businesses and citizens) to pay for health insurance (either through a tax penalty or insurance premiums) then it is effectively forcing everyone to pay for high risk or bad health decisions. This is in spite the fact that this power is not granted by the Constitution—it also mitigates the consequences of unhealthy and poor choices (I also realize there are people with health conditions that are out of their control). This is so because those who do not utilize health insurance are being forced to pay for the people who do. Often the people who do not use health insurance do not want to pay for it or do not need it. In addition, health insurance was not meant to be used every time someone has a sniffle. Do you know anyone who runs to the doctor every time they think they are getting sick? I do, and if insurance gets to the point it is free (not what we have now or under Obama Care) there will be no way for the health care system to cope with the demand. What someone thinks is free will be used with impunity. Rationing will follow and it has already begun.
Part two next time…
For part two click here.