According to some people, there is this group of people out there called the "un-insured" who are the root cause of rising health care costs. It is believed that their failure to buy insurance results in receiving care too little, too late and then, when they can't pay their hospital bills, the unpaid costs are shifted to you and me.
Ask the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and government and they will say these people are basically irresponsible deadbeats who don't assume their social responsibilities and they are monkey-wrenching the whole health system. I say, Whoa! Wait a Minute, comrade! Perhaps the 208 Commission has reached its verdict too soon without considering all the facts.
...To me, the uninsured are basically our young people, your children and mine who are getting out of college, paying off their student loans, getting married, buying a car and a home and trying to move from their starter job up a couple of notches.
They are also young immigrant families who are attempting to do the same thing on a smaller scale. They are not a bunch of deadbeats who will only act in Society's best interest if mandated to buy health insurance and threatened with tax penalties.
...There is another aspect to all of this. Those young people we disparage for not buying health insurance are paying payroll and income taxes. Nearly 15% of what would essentially be take-home pay to them is carved out, up-front, to pay for Medicare and Social Security.
And, a significant portion of their income taxes goes to pay for Medicaid recipients. This young generation we are painting red is paying for the health care and retirement benefits for their elders and the poor, when they can't even afford health insurance for themselves and their kids. Talk about the cart behind the horse!
...The stakeholders for health care reform are really the young wage earners and families who are about to be targeted by the 208 Commission to have mandated health care insurance rammed down their throats. Their parents are blissfully enjoying benefits provided by their employers and their grandparents are shuffling off to Arizona and Florida for the winter, assuming their Medicare and Social Security checks are in the mail.
Is there something wrong with this picture?
Monday, October 8, 2007
Fran Miller on Individual Mandates
Fran Miller questions the wisdom (and the justice) of the individual mandates that the 208 Commision seems to like so much. Here are some excerpts: