One of the most oft-heard arguments against the ACA’s individual mandate is “How can the government compel me to buy something I don’t want and don’t need?”
Well, Skippy, government has been compelling you to do things for a long time. The Feds make you pay income taxes or risk fines and jail time. Most states compel you to wear seatbelts, because people who wear seat belts are less likely to die or be seriously injured in auto accidents. If you don’t wear one and get caught, you get fined, even if YOU aren’t the driver.
If you have a house and a mortgage, the bank makes you buy homeowner’s insurance so they are not stuck with an empty lot if the house burns down and you default. If you have a car, the state makes you buy auto insurance before you can get license tags and the bank will make you get insurance if you’ve financed the car.
“But what if I don’t own a house or a car?” If you rent and don’t have renter’s insurance, you’re just a dumbass. If you don’t have a car or a house, you don’t need auto or homeowner’s insurance, and you’re a dumbass for asking that question.
Here’s the reality. People who get sick without health insurance don’t just disappear. They eventually seek care, usually when they are a lot sicker. The cost for that care was about $176 billion in 2013, and we’re all on the hook for about two-thirds of that.
You don’t think you should pay for someone else’s care because you are healthy? How do you think traditional insurance works in the first place? Many people pay premiums for auto and homeowner’s insurance; those who get into an accident or suffer damage to their home get the benefit. Most employees are healthy but the premiums the employees pay cover those unfortunate enough to become ill. Otherwise, only sick people would buy insurance and the cost would be astronomical.
You own a body? You need to insure it, so I don’t have to pay for YOUR health care when YOU get sick and don’t have insurance. It’s only fair.