The need to repeal the individual mandate to purchase health insurance



The individual mandate to purchase health insurance it is hoped will be repealed. It is understandable that each citizen should have health insurance but the mandate to the system or choices in place is hurting individuals. The costs of health insurance under the healthcare law is expensive to say the least not the least of which is the high deductibles that individuals must satisfy before they truly receive the benefits. The healthcare law was based on the principle to provide health insurance to all individuals at an affordable price. The key here is affordable and to have individuals pay for the insurance. Individuals were paying for their insurance and the price was affordable. Today the insurance they are required to purchase under the law is not affordable including the high deductibles on various policies.

A legislative proposal called the “Patient Freedom Act of 2014 would remove this provision which is one of the significant parts of the healthcare law passed by Congress without bi-partisan support. Republican David Jolly has proposed this legislation in the House of Representatives to repeal this aspect of the Healthcare law. One thing to understand is that prior to the health law individuals made choices as to the coverage they required for themselves and their families. When the healthcare law was issued the federal government decided what coverage you needed whether you wanted it or not and required insurance companies to provide the coverage the law required. This comes as a cost which in most cases has resulted in higher costs and higher deductibles.

The idea that the government should be in control of determining what coverage you should have is contrary to the principles upon which this country was found. Individuals should have the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions not the government according to Jolly who proposed this legislation. An interesting fact about this legislation is the length. The proposal is just 2 pages, a far cry from other legislative proposals. The proposal if passed in both houses and sent to the President for signature would affect retroactively, repealing the penalty for taxable years ending after December 31, 2013.

There is no question that problems exist within our healthcare industry and some provisions in the current law involve positive changes while others are hurting individuals and businesses.

The individual mandate is setting a precedent which some believe that other mandates could be imposed on each of us. The principle or philosophy of the government telling us we must purchase something violates our individual freedom to make our own decisions. I understand there are individuals who need insurance but do not have the money to purchase it.

The principle of the healthcare law is not a bad one but the methods to implement them has resulted in higher costs not lower as promised. Before this law was enacted there were two government programs in place to help individuals who did not have the resources necessary to provide for their healthcare needs. One is Medicare which applies to older individuals and the other is Medicaid. It is true that these programs are in need of being revamped to make them financially solvent. What needs to happen is to eliminate the individual mandate and put these programs on a sound financial basis. Granted this will not be and easy task to accomplish but accomplishing it will greatly improve government healthcare needs far into the future for those who cannot purchase their own policy. Today from reports there are more and more individuals accessing these two insurance programs. We as a country take care of our own in one way or another.

There is an example where there is a requirement to have a product for anyone that drives and that is insurance. The difference is if we do not have insurance we are responsible for any incidents. This may differ between states but the rule is in place in many if not all states. It is also a fact that when signing a statement you have insurance an individual can cancel the insurance after renewing their license. The problem elevates itself if you are stopped by a police officer who asks for proof of insurance. If you cannot produce it you in all likelihood will receive a citation or ticket.

Letting government decide what insurance you need as I stated before is contrary to the principles upon which this country was found. Government makes enough decisions affecting our lives every day but our healthcare decisions should not be one of them. One size fits all never works and the requirements of the current healthcare law requires insurance companies who are signed up as part of this new system to furnish benefits that are not needed for every individual. Individual needs for those in their later years are different than the needs of the younger generation. If this legislative proposal reaches the President’s desk and he vetoes it Congress should send a signal that this mandate should not stand and override it with votes in Congress. It is time for Congress to stand up for every citizen and when laws or parts of them are bad they need to be corrected by amendment or repeal legislation in its entirety. Such is the case with healthcare. Some parts of the legislation are positive changes while others are hurting individuals, businesses and the economy overall. These kinds of legislative actions must stop. Let us hope the new Congress will be a breath of fresh air and reverse the current path of our country.

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6 comments

HSchneider 22 months ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

I understand your position, Dennis but there is a problem with it. If a person decides to remain uninsured, and is injured severely or comes down with a serious disease, we the citizens are left on the hook for it if they cannot pay. Hospitals cannot turn them away because it is inhumane. Our insurance rates have been inflated for years because of this as well as other factors. You pointed out that auto insurance is mandatory because others are affected by accidents. Very true. We are affected when the uninsured inevitably cannot pay catastrophic medical bills. If we remove the mandate, everyone's rates are going to skyrocket. The only other option is to repeal the law which would be inhumane to the millions who now have healthcare insurance for the first time. I wish healthcare insurance was not connected to employment. I was laid off in 2007 and was out of work for almost 4 years. Luckily I had a good nest egg and paid very heavy monthly premiums for insurance. It is unfair to have the double whammy of losing your job and also losing your healthcare insurance. Interesting Hub, Dennis.


Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 22 months ago Author

HSchneider

Thanks for your comments. I understand your comment about individuals who decide to not purchase health insurance. I too wish that health insurance was not connected to employment. Before the law it was not. Changes need to be made to the law to make things right. Those who cannot afford health insurance get help from the government through the programs I mentioned.


Larry Wall 22 months ago

Dennis:

I understand your position, my problem is that before Obamacae, people like me were denied insurance because of age and previous health history. One company offered to insure my wife, but insisted on an $85,000 deductible for any back related issues (She has a form of arthritis in her back). Obamacare gives me a subsidy, which I used, but I would had still been happy if it would have prevented insurance companies from turning me down. I ask one company if a 20 something person who was a drug user and had sex with numerous people, cleaned up for a few weeks and then applied. He would probably be covered and the company would be faced with 40 years of liability. In my case at the time I made the observation, I was less than three years away from medicare--now about 17 months. Something drastic needed to be done.


Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 22 months ago Author

Thanks for your comment. I understand your situation. Repealing the individual mandate should not impact the situation you or other individuals are in. There are positive things in Obamcare but there are several negatives. The legislation should be replaced and get rid of the negative impact and put the positive changes in another law.


Larry Wall 22 months ago

I understand what you are seeking, but when you separate the issues dealing with the same subject you run into more problems. I have been involved in drafting state legislation, and avoiding conflicts that can declare a whole bill to be void is very difficult.


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Dennis AuBuchon 22 months ago Author

Larry,

Thanks again for responding. I have never been involved with drafting state legislation and I understand what you are saying.

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