Obama Care and Car Insurance: They are Not the Same, Part 2 (of 2)


Part two as promised…

(if you missed part one, you can find it here.)

Okay, so the government forces everyone to purchase health insurance, even people who are not insurable (Not insurable is someone who will cost so much the insurance company cannot make any money. Such as a person with a terminal illness—as might be stipulated by the preexisting condition clause.). I know what you may be thinking, “David, you do not care about other people.” Untrue. I want healthy lives for everyone, but you and I should not have to pay for someone else’s intentional bad choices (such as the person who overeats, drinks too much, uses recreational drugs, or smokes a pack or three a day). I believe in personal responsibility; often times reaping the consequences of a bad decision is the only way people learn. How would you feel if you had to pay for everyone’s car insurance, including the people who are not insurable in the car insurance realm? Do you think your premium would go up if everyone’s driving record was taken into consideration? Businesses exist to make money so the answer is, “yes, the premiums will go up.” Or how much do you think your premium would go down if car insurance companies were not required to provide liability insurance for bad (but not uninsurable) drivers?

Essentially, the argument for Obama Care is this: the government should take care of everyone. The more the government gets involved in healthcare, the more laws will be passed to change your behavior whereas an insurance company can refuse to cover you under an insurance plan. The essential moral motivation of this idea is a good and compassionate but the idea that the government should be the caretaker of our health is flawed. Is there a government program that does not hemorrhage money and is administered well? If it is not flawed, then the government can tell you how to live, what to eat and buy, and when to exercise,where to work—in order to keep healthcare costs low—and the list will be never ending. Then what you can and cannot do is not limited to the the few previous examples. This concept is directly against the ideals of liberty (as opposed to anarchy or tyranny) because the government will tell you how to live. Government by its very essence governs. If you do not think this is so, do some research on the recent law passed in New York to limit the size of soft drinks to 16 oz—only in restaurants mind you. They are now talking about limiting all kinds of drinks including milk (supposedly a healthy product) and popcorn (yes, I realize this is a state action but the federal government will follow.).

Liberty is not the freedom to do whatever you want. It is not personal anarchy nor is it the ability to do something stupid and have someone else pay for it. And it is definitely not government, i.e. other taxpayers, paying for everything. The liberty conceived by the Founding Fathers was liberty with responsibility. I am not thinking of the libertarian principal but how the Founding Fathers thought about liberty. We Americans seem to have the idea that the government is only supposed to allow us to do whatever we want and keep other people form interfering with our personal choices. This is a misconception. You are responsible for your choices. Where you are now is a result of all the choices you made previous to this moment.

Unfortunately, when a culture looses its moral foundation in absolutes of right and wrong, then the hand of government must step in and be stronger because citizens become increasingly lawless. When this occurs two things happen. Government oversteps its bounds and becomes oppressive and citizens care less and less about keeping the government under control. This idea may seem far afield from the difference between health and auto insurance but it is it one example where government will overreach. Remember, liability insurance is designed to protect your fellow citizens from your mistake, the Affordable Care Act forces everyone to pay for your mistake either though premiums or tax penalties. As a natural result, the government will pass more laws to limit the amount of money paid out, control your behavior in order to stop what it considers to be reckless, make you pay more out of your pocket for low quality health care. Access to health care (through insurance) does not equal good health care.