In the health care debate, lawmakers from every party have apparently reached consensus on at least one approach: require all Americans to have health insurance. Many of the uninsured are young and healthy adults who opt out of employer coverage and otherwise do without. If they have to get insurance, so the reasoning goes, that would add a population to the pool that doesn’t go to the doctor much, thus bringing down insurance costs for everyone. People who couldn’t afford insurance on their own would get government subsidies for the purpose.
The debates now are mainly about funding problems and about whether the government should offer a public insurance plan that would compete with the private companies. Naturally, the insurance companies love the idea, as do drug companies, hospitals, and other medical providers, salivating at all of these additional customers. There are many other pieces to the puzzle, but let’s focus on this one aspect of the proposed health care reforms.
Using private companies to ensure health care for all–rather than a Canada-style government-run system–would seem to avoid socialism. States already mandate auto insurance. Why not health insurance also?
Do you see problems with this approach? Are any of you young, healthy, and uninsured folks going to resent this? Is this going to cut medical costs or allow them to skyrocket unhindered?