Should Health Insurance be Mandatory?

So far, thirteen states have challenged the mandatory coverage provision contained in the health care reform bill. Some regard this as intrusive and yet another aspect of Big Brother controlling our lives. Others see this as a boon to insurance companies, not exactly their favorite corporate citizens. Both positions are understandable but the basis for this requirement is actually quite sound. Insurance is fundamentally a pool in which all participants pay a little in return for protection from the risk of having to pay a lot. Currently many young people forgo health insurance. Without these good risks to balance out the higher claims costs of others rates are driven higher for all. Similarly if a disproportionate number those who lived in straw houses purchased fire insurance and there were relatively few owners of brick homes in the mix, rates would be higher for this insurance too. What further complicates things is that when those who opt out of insurance do have claims, they are treated for free in hospital emergency rooms and the burden is borne by taxpayers or shifted to the bills of those who are insured. Either way, those who choose not to purchase insurance currently get a free ride. This is both unfair and burdensome to the rest of us. Keep in mind that income tax, registration for the draft and school attendance are all required for the greater good of society as a whole. One may argue that health insurance is expensive and rife with limitations and these are valid points. Nevertheless, until all are covered we will not have a level playing field and those who do carry insurance will continue to pay more than their fair share.


1 Response to “Should Health Insurance be Mandatory?”

  1. March 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Good post, and you’re correct.

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