If only it were a joke. Senator Ed Kennedy and Senator Kay Hutchison can be seen in the New York Times discussing how to best coercively force health care benefits down the throats of every single breathing subject in America. Through legislation, Democrats have come to the conclusion that everyone will be carrying insurance and that employers will help with this transition. The case for mandated individual health insurance has arrived – and it is terrifying.
Whatever side of the fence one may be on, the most frightening thing that I hope to agree upon is that it is ‘mandated‘. First, if the government found out a way to figure out who didn’t have insurance, what would the penalty be? Let’s take automobile insurance for example. 47 states have laws forcing drivers to purchase automobile liability insurance. However, even though most of these states impose jail time and large fines, 14.5% of the drivers in those states are not insured. Such states such as Texas and California have percentages much higher than the average.
Secondly, what exactly would an individual need to have in order to pass the minimum requirements of the mandate? How much coverage does a human being deserve? Regardless of what minimum health requirements are on the list, one thing is certain: special interest lobby groups will be biting at the bit to join the gravy train. When Clinton proposed minimum benefit packages as part of his health care reform act in 1993, special interest lobbying groups spent millions of dollars in advertising to include a specific provider group or coverage of a specific condition.
The fundamental issue with government mandated health care is that it will shift the focus away from the individual ‘s needs. It will no longer be about what is best for the health of a person, but rather, what kind of health care will an individual receive based upon the current political environment. The focus will shift from the personal realm to the political realm. Doctor-patient confidentiallity will become doctor-government-statistic-policy-tv debate-special interest lobby-vote-law-enforcement-tax-patient political asylum.
Once Americans accept the fact that it is the government’s responsibility to make sure we all have health insurance, we will certainly need to accept the fact it will be the government’s responsibility to decide how much health care we all deserve. As the government increasingly begins to get more and more involved within the personal lives of the individual, more and more judgement calls will have to be made by the bureaucrats. What kind of person does it take to dictate the well-being of his fellow man? What kind of person is capable of legislating such judgement calls and penalties? What kind of person wants to have that kind of power over another?