I don’t (in theory) have to have my car, so the insurance mandate is optional, but I do have to have my body (a fatal flaw in Obamacare?)

March 27, 2012

Perhaps the individual mandate was the fatal flaw in Obamacare.

From what I just read on the web, the Supreme Court justices, the conservative ones, plus the swing man, Justice Kennedy, a conservative whose vote can sometimes go either way, appear to be tipping their hands, via questioning, indicating they are quite skeptical of the individual mandate to buy health insurance. That of course threatens the whole Obamacare package, that is based on the premise that health care can be provided to all if everyone chips in.

But you never know about high court justices, they can indicate one thing, even in a final opinion, and then come smack down on the other side. But it does seem that the conservative majority is preparing to dismantle or severely weaken Obamacare.

A law requiring one to deal with a private company sticks in my craw as well. I am required to do so to buy car insurance, but theoretically I don’t have to have a car. I have to have my body.

I just cannot understand why Americans are so against some kind of cooperative scheme that would benefit us all. Health care is expensive and there seems to be no way to keep it in line. But a single-payer program (which Obamacare is not) would allow that single payer bargaining power.

I have personally witnessed people (I won’t name names) who have railed against government health care and who at the same time have used it to the max.

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What follows is my previous and related blog post on the issue:

So, as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs into the Obamacare controversy, this thought comes to me: 

The idea of the government mandating that you buy health insurance from a private company draws heavy resistance (doesn‘t even sound right to me).

But the costs of health insurance continue to escalate and there seems no way to control them.

Some people choose not to carry health insurance, or some cannot afford it and/or it is not available to them.

But just because one does not have insurance does not mean the costs disappear.

Out of law and moral imperative, the medical establishment does not simply refuse to treat people over lack of insurance (in general — there are cases where people are denied certain types of treatment or face obstacles).

The costs of treating the uncovered people must be borne by those who are.

The cost of medical care seems to see no limit in its escalation, despite the ups and downs of the economic cycle, partly due to the ever-expanding technology available, that as wondrous as it is, is quite costly, and raises individual expectations on what constitutes reasonable and rightful medical care.

In an effort to both get everyone covered and have everyone pay his or her fair share into the pool, what is now called Obamacare was passed.

It is heavily opposed by conservatives, to include much or most of the business community, which usually is automatically considered part of the conservative contingent.

But I note that the trucking company I work for is a member of an insurance consortium made up of several trucking companies.

In an effort to beat the cost of private insurance for liability out on the road, where not only does one have to pay for the risk, but for the profit of a private insurance company, the business competitors have banded together, pooling their resources for the common good of each member. As I understand it, if a member racks up a good enough safety score, the member eventually gets money back.

So it seems to me if conservative business people (or non-conservatives, for that matter) can see the economic benefit and the logic of shared risk, minus the costly profit motive, then why cannot people see it for individual health care coverage?

Seems to me that having the federal government administer some kind of shared risk pool for health insurance coverage would not be a bad idea (and that is not really the Obamacare approach, but that is not the point here).

Or, perhaps, there could be some type of legal mechanism to allow for the creation of non-governmental, but non-profit, risk pools.

Just a thought.

P.s.

Insurance had its beginnings in non-profit risk pools.

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