>Health Insurance Is NOT The Same As Auto Insurance

>I’m getting really tired of explaining to people why the health insurance mandate is different from state auto insurance mandates. I keep hearing that argument all the time, as if a state’s auto insurance mandate somehow justifies the federal government’s health insurance mandate. It doesn’t.

Look, transportation and healthcare/life are not comparable. I rewind back to 8th grade Driver’s Ed class where we had “driving is a privilege not a right” drilled into our heads. You don’t have to drive a car. But you DO have to live. There are other ways of getting where you need to go. You can walk. You can ride a bike. You can hitchhike. Or, you can take advantage of the public option: buses, subways and other forms of public transportation. So it is possible to live and function in America without buying auto insurance. Millions of people do.

But you cannot access healthcare in any affordable way without health insurance.

On top of that, auto and health insurance operate completely differently. The auto insurance market does adhere more closely to the general premise of insurance, which is to pool risk. Health insurance does not pool risk because the riskiest patients (the poor, the elderly, people with pre-existing conditions, etc.) are left out of the pool from the get-go.

So please, liberal friends. Stop using state auto insurance mandates as a justification for the healthcare law’s mandate. The mandate was always, in my mind, Constitutionally suspect. As I wrote in November 2009, government-run healthcare is not fascism, but the Affordable Care Act technically is. I simply don’t see how it passes Constitutional muster for the government to force you to do business with a private, often for-profit, corporation, without providing a public alternative.

Yes, I get why the insurance companies wanted the mandate to begin with. I get why Republicans originally suggested a health insurance mandate waaaay back in the ‘90s (they were for it before they were against it, don’tcha know). The failure to secure the Public Option was the biggest fail of healthcare reform because it left the mandate vulnerable to a court challenge, and without the mandate a major part of the entire bill unravels. The public option made the mandate Constitutionally acceptable, at least that’s how I see it. I’m not an expert in Constitutional law and if there are any out there reading this blog I’d love to hear you explain to me why I’m wrong.

In the meantime, the Democrats screwed themselves on their signature achievement by caving on the one element that may have allowed the healthcare bill to pass muster in the courts.



Filed under health insurance, healthcare

6 responses to “>Health Insurance Is NOT The Same As Auto Insurance

  1. >The answer is obvious – single payer, eliminating for-profit insurance companies from the picture.Pay for it with a tax. That eliminates the constitutional problem of mandating a purchase from a blood-sucking corporation.Auto insurance makes sense. For profit health insurance makes NO sense, whatsoever.http://jazzbumpa.blogspot.com/2010/12/of-health-care-and-insurance.htmlCheers!JzB

  2. >Seriously, you used "fail" as a noun?I hated the mandate from day one. For the same reasons I hate the idea of private school vouchers. If the cost is X, they will simply raise it to Y, and then you are very limited on what you can afford.Basic medical for all, preventative measures are the cheapest. If you want to purchase life prolonging procedure insurance, go ahead, if you can afford it. At some point, we do have to tell Americans they don't have a right to live forever.

  3. >I always use fail as a noun. It's a blogging thing.

  4. >It's a blogging fail thing.Cheers!JzB

  5. Jim

    >"At some point, we do have to tell Americans they don't have a right to live forever." Who would get to decide what healthcare is "free" Mack? Does a relatively healthy 80 year old qualify for a free kidney transplant? Does a 40 year smoker qualify for free cancer treatment? It is obvious that in order to not bankrupt the nation healthcare would have to be rationed in some form. You suggest that those that can afford it could pay for more healthcare on their own. How is this different from what we have now? Medicaid is there to supposedly take care of the poor with free healthcare. You want to expand this to all citizens as a base? Medicaid is going bankrupt as it is now and more and more doctors are turning new patients away as their payments drop.

  6. >its very obvious that health insurance is NOT the same as auto insurance. so why you need to explain it for them.