Friday, February 04, 2005

Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage?

According to this CNN article, California lawmakers are considering making health care coverage mandatory, like mandatory auto insurance in Indiana, where I live, and elsewhere. It is an attempt to rein in spiraling emergency medical care debt and deal with some six million uninsured in their state. There are a number of plans being investigated. Clearly the State will have to subsidize, to some extent, those who are unable to afford coverage, placing a further strain upon the State's already strained financial situation.

My thoughts are mixed. I am for personal liberty. I am uncomfortable with the government mandating that its citizens do things. On the other hand, my home State has mandated Auto Insurance coverage, which I favor. Nothing is more infuriating than being involved in a fender-bender with a driver with no insurance, no money, and few assets. What becomes really dire is when said accident involves serious personal injury that can quickly become financially ruinous atop the pain and grief. I am for mandated auto insurance because I think it is criminal to get behind the wheel of a ton or more of steel that may end up maiming another individual without the means to reimburse the victim for medical expenses and suffering. Necessary coverage, for my car, is like $80 per month, which I gladly pay.

Health care coverage, however, is quite a different thing. I think every family ought to have health care coverage, it's the responsible thing to do but I view such a mandate as an infringement of personal liberty.

My question to you is,
what do you think of a State mandating that its citizens purchase and maintain health insurance?

In composing a post or comment for our discussion, remember the ground rules which are:

1. I'm looking for reasoned debate, not ad hominem attack.
2. Foul language will be edited or even form grounds for rejection.
3. Articles will be expected to remain on the given topic.
4. Articles should be no longer than 1,000 to 1,500 words
5. Please frame views that do not agree with yours in positive terms
that proponents of said view use with respect to their views.

Other than that, any position on the topic is acceptable. Please submit your contributions to me at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a mandate is absolutely an infringement on personal liberty. Car insurance is also an infringement but to a lesser extent. However, for the government to require health insurance is an absurd idea in the first place. How would they provide afforadable care to those who can't afford it now? There would have to be like state run health care at dirt cheap prices which would essentialy be socialized health care.

My biggest question for the system would be how the state expects people to afford insurance when many people cannot afford it now? Where does this magical insurance comr from?

Bad idea if you ask me. Once you hand control of something over the government you never get it back. Never!


2/04/2005 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bubbles, Ink. said...

It's mandatory...with an "A" not an "I"

2/05/2005 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

It is, indeed. I have never won a single spelling bee. The offending mispelling has been changed.

Now, do you have anything to say about the ideological content of the post?

2/05/2005 01:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a word for sums of money that the state makes people pay. It's called "taxation".

As Nate points out, if you require people to have adequate insurance, you need to offer insurance that poor people can afford, which means either the state paying normal commerical insurance premiums or a whole state-run health care system.

If you want to do that, you're introducing a taxpayer-funded National Health Service, similar to what the UK and Canada have.

Now, you can do that, but you should be clear that that is what you're doing.

2/11/2005 11:10:00 AM  

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