Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Why requiring that people buy health insurance is the wrong approach

Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney offer similar plans to address health care in America. Both plans mandate that people purchase health insurance.

Reasons #1 through 1,824 why Clinton and Romney have the wrong ideas for health care in America...

From AP via Businessweek -

No health care? Higher fines in Mass.


The cost of not having health insurance in Massachusetts is going up.

When the new year begins Tuesday, most residents who remain uninsured will face monthly fines that could total as much as $912 for individuals and $1,824 for couples by the end of 2008, according to penalty guidelines unveiled by the Department of Revenue on Monday.

To sum up what is so wrong about this scheme, first proposed by Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts, it only guarantees revenue for insurance companies, but does nothing to guarantee decent health care for patients.

Both plans expect the American public to continue to confuse "health insurance" with "actual "health care."

Hillary Clinton's health plan here.

Romney's here. (No 'compassionate' conservative he, with him referring to Americans without health insurance as "free riders.")

Other candidates:

Edwards' plan

Giuliani's plan

Richardson's plan

McCain's plan

Obama's plan

Huckabee's plan

Kucinich's plan (probably the best of the bunch; at least he seems to understand the difference between insurance and care)

Hunter's "plan" (scroll a little more than halfway down the page)

Biden's plan

Most of the plans have some kind of tax credit proposal to help poor families pay for health insurance.

Great idea, except that it presumes that those poor families can afford the price of health insurance up front before later taking it off their tax bills at the end of the year.

One last observation: the "mandated health insurance" scheme is very similar to the way auto insurance is required for all drivers, regardless of ability to pay. How has that impacted low-income drivers?

They either can't drive (legally anyway) or they have patronize 'low-cost' insurers, insurers who frequently take their customers' money while providing inadequate or even non-existent coverage.

If the Clinton/Romney/whoever plan is implemented, how long will it take before it becomes illegal to receive medical care without insurance?

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