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Mandatory Auto Insurance is Not the Same as Obama Care Mandatory Medical Insurance

Updated on July 5, 2012

Supporters of Obama Care defend the controversial (one of the many controversial items in a very controversial bill) requirement that makes it a crime not to buy health insurance coverage, have been citing mandatory car insurance laws as a precedent for forcing people to buy medical insurance.

However, this justification is wrong on two counts.

First of all, laws requiring that drivers have car insurance are laws passed by and enforced by the individual states while the proposed Obama Care law would be a Federal law.

This is an important distinction because things like health, welfare, education, etc. are not only historically state responsibilities but, under the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights (which

reads: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.) powers in these areas are reserved for the states since they are not spelled out as powers reserved for the Federal Government in the Constitution.

The United States has a federal system in which power is divided between the central government in Washington and the states and it is important to protect our freedom by respecting and defending that division.

State Laws are Personal Liability Laws and Not Mandatory Insurance Laws

The second reason that mandatory car insurance is a poor justification for a Federal Law requiring every person in America to purchase insurance or face arrest and prosecution is that these state motor vehicle insurance liability laws only apply to people who drive motor vehicles on public roads. Don't drive on public roads and you don't need car insurance.

Further, in every state that I am aware of, these laws do not require that a motorist purchase insurance but instead require that they show proof of financial responsibility.

The most common way of showing such proof is with the purchase of auto liability insurance with a coverage amount equal to or greater than the minimum required by the state. In Arizona, where I live, motorists have the option of purchasing auto liability insurance, posting a bond, or putting up a certificate of deposit or cash in the amount of $40,000.

Unlike the insurance purchase requirement in the Obama Care bill which is about health care protection for the individual, the so called auto insurance laws are about having the ability to compensate victims of one's careless actions.From ancient times, most societies have held individuals accountable for their actions and have required people to pay the cost of repairing damage their actions have caused to other people or their property.

In other words, these laws are about being able to compensate victims of ones careless or negligent actions for their losses. No state that I know of requires people to carry insurance to shield themselves from the cost of damage to their person or property from their carelessness.

If I am responsible for an accident in which both my vehicle and the victim's vehicle are destroyed my mandatory auto liability insurance will only pay for the damage to the other vehicle and not to my own.

I can, of course, voluntarily purchase optional collision coverage to pay for repairs to my car for damage caused by me but there is no legal requirement for this. If I finance the purchase of the car the lender will probably require that I purchase such coverage as a condition of the loan but that is the lender's requirement, not the government's.

Here again, the proposed Obama Care requirement is mandating that people purchase insurance to compensate them for the cost of caring for their own illnesses and not to compensate others for the cost of caring for illness spread by a sick person.

This Threat to Individual Lilberty Will Be Challenged in Court

Like many other parts of this pending legislation, the mandate that people purchase insurance or face fines or criminal prosecution is certain to be challenged in court as an infringement on our liberty and the government's attorneys will have a difficult time defending it if all they offer as precedent to justify such an assault on our liberty is a flimsy comparison with auto liability insurance requirements for motorists.


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    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona - Thanks for your comment. I think that increasing numbers of people are now reading the Constitution and joining the opposition to those lawmakers and academics who consider it a historic relic.

      I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will render a decision that strikes down Obamacare. Interestingly, I just read a piece in the Wall Street Journal noting that the last five or more Supreme Court decisions involving actions by the Obama Administration have ruled against the Administration on the grounds that the Obama Administration was exceeding its powers under the Constitution in each case. In one of the cases the decision was 9 to 0 against the Obama Administration with even Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was appointed by President Obama, agreeing that the President's actions had exceeded his Constitutional powers.

    • profile image 

      7 years ago from upstate, NY

      Glad to hear that there are some who still take the Constitution seriously! If we can be fined for not purchasing health insurance, democracy as we know it is dead! If they can force us to buy their lousy health insurance, what will they force us to buy next?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You finally have a president that is empathetic and you're ignorant to this fact. 30 million people will now have healthcare coverage that was not available to them and other people will no longer be put in the position of selling their homes, etc. in order to pay for hospital bills, etc., etc. The bottomline to your complaints about Obama's healthcare plan is that you don't want to be forced to do anything! In other words, you don't want anyone telling you that you should feel any empathy for another human being. Narcissists! I have tried to understand that people look out for themselves first and foremost. People lose their jobs and everyone says too bad, so sad, but at least I have my job. The narcissists have caused people to lose their homes, but not everyone feels the need to fight back because what they're thinking is "at least I still have my home and/or a roof over my head". I tried to give people the benefit of the doubt and wanted to believe that they were not that callous and were only confused by the narcissistic tactics used to manipulate them into believing that healthcare for everyone is anything but good. But how could they believe the lies they were being told by the large corporations? If you're presented with conflicting information all you have to ask yourself is who has the most to gain and who has the most to lose. What is Obama gaining? He can afford his medical bills and all he's attempting to do is help the less fortunate. What does Obama have to lose? Campaign funding from the large corporations, he's giving ammunition to the opposition leaders which may cost him the presidency, people like you against him, etc., etc. What do the large insurance corporations have to gain if they defeat Obama-money in their pockets. If they don't defeat Obama then they will lose some of the millions of dollars they have coming in and the poor CEOs won't earn their 100 million-plus dollars each year.

    • MikeNV profile image


      8 years ago from Henderson, NV

      Irving has not read the bill but is buying into the Propoganda behind it. Sure we all want health care coverage... but insurance is NOT health care.

      And throwing 120 million people into the pool of insured with pre-existing conditions will NOT lower premiums. It will raise them substantially. If you have a pre existing condition you are not part of the Insurance Pool. I worked for several years for a health insurance company. These people are not "risks" but known drains on the resources of the pool.

      If a person has kidney failure for example and was not insured at the time of this dreadful disease, that is in fact unfortunate. But putting this person into the "risk pool" will drive up costs. This person will have coverage at the going rate but pull a hugely disproportionate amount of money out of the pool. The only recourse is for the Insurance Company to raise premiums or go out of business. This is NOT "Risk Management". This is budgeting. And it's a disaster in the making.

      Obamacare will insure that everyone pays more and gets less. That's just the facts.

      Exactly this article is on Target! And with automobiles there are alternative forms of transportation available. With mandated Federal Insurance there are not.

      There is a growing rift between Party Ideologies for sure, but an equal rift between the Federal Government and State Government. The Federal Government is picking and choosing the issues they want to address while States are struggling with these issues which MUST be addressed.

      There is too much power shifting to the Federal Government and away from the States. Federal Government growth is out of control. There are now about 15 agencies that are set up for National Security, generating 50,000 reports annually. Who reads them? And this from a Federal Government that has no plan to secure our boarders?

      The Federal Government takes from the States then reallocates those funds however they see fit. The Federal Government can print and borrow money then SUE the States with unlimited resources. The States are stuck with whatever funds they have available.

      States need to be able to determine their own destiny based on the principals and values of the voters of the State they live in.

    • vinnielee2010 profile image


      8 years ago from Apollo PA

      I think it is funny that some would think that we hubbers have health care

      It is more sad that if I go to work and add a few thousand to the house income I loose mine

      If the government want to pay for my hospital bill I am for it

      But I will probably choose to die before I go to the hospital again

      My kids are covered and my wife pays through work and I am at least on the waiting list if I get hurt or sick before that they may cover me

      but they did not when I earned 15000 a year

      the Hospital said I could afford the 6000 to 8000 dolars I will not pay, for them to tell me I didn't have a heart atact but who knows why I hurt

      And what is even funnier is if I did have high mark they would have only paid 1000 $ if that for the same bill they want 8000 from me HAHA

      That is messed up on all levels

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Prety funny comments in here. Almost everyone seems to be claiming they currently do not have health insurance because they are against the gov forcing them to carry it. Now be honest and tell the board exactly which of you is not currently covered by health insurance? I'll go out on a limb and guess EVERY single one of you who posted in here already has a health insurance plan so the gov isn't forcing you to do anything different. What you really despise about Obamas plan is that healthcare will be provided for all. As for those who claim they dont want the federal gov meddling in healthcare, so long as you never participate in VA care, Medicare or Medicaid you have a right to speak that opinion with honesty. If you are on one of thise plans, you are a lying hypocrite, nothing more.

    • irving6cunningha profile image


      9 years ago

      once this whirlwind starts who knows what will be next!

    • Michael Willis profile image

      Michael Willis 

      9 years ago from Arkansas

      Excellent article. I have talked to people about this same very topic. It is not the same with Auto and Health Insurance. They are very different.

      The only similarity that will come from Premium Rates rising. Like Auto Insurance, watch for Renewals to come more frequently so the Insurer can hike the rates each time.

      great information and thanks for sharing.

    • OpinionDuck profile image


      9 years ago


    • OpinionDuck profile image


      9 years ago


      What about dental insurance and liability and health insurance for your animals, domestic or otherwise?

      Mabe they are next.

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Gopop - As far as I know, there is no requirement that you have insurance or, in some states, even license plates and registration for the vehicle, to drive a vehicle on privately owned land (yours or, with permission, someone else's land). Of course, getting to such land may require that you drive your car on public roads in which case you would need insurance along with license plates and registration.

      The point of the article was twofold. First that you can legally opt out of having to purchase auto liability insurance by not operating a motor vehicle on public roads whereas with Obama Care the only way to legally avoid purchasing medical insurance will be to die. Second, with auto liability insurance a person is protecting the victim of an accident he or she caused with their car - liability insurance offers no protection of property owned by the driver of the car (and holder of the liability insurance) and no coverage for medical expenses the owner of the policy may have incurred as a result of the accident. Obama Care, on the other hand, is all about forcing people to protect their assets in the event they get ill and to make sure they have enough money to pay for the care if they desire it. Even if a person prefers to die rather than buy insurance the IRS will still prosecute them unless they purchase insurance for themselves.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Gosh, where are all these non-public roads? Are they marked on the map? Do they get you to and from work without driving on a public road? So now you think you can tell your auto insurance company that you're not required to carry auto insurance? Think again, because when a cop stops you because your turn signal doesn't work or you made an illegal turn. The first thing he is going to ask you for is your insurance card along with your drivers license. Of course, as the patrolman has your car towed for no proof of insurance, you'll just simply tell him that you don't need that old insurance card because you're on a non-public road and some guy on said it wasn't required.

      Gee, what a bunch of Lemmings you all are.

    • Going2Oahu profile image


      9 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      It's outrageous and preposterous (first time I have ever used that word) that the federal government has their hands in health insurance in the first place. They made a mockery of Fannie and Freddie and the federal health plan will be no better. And then to make it mandatory?? Ha!

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      9 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I recent anyone tell me I have to do anything, especially if I have come out of my pocket for it. I thinks we need health care reform, but this mandatory thing is the wrong move.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      9 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      What A Crock, thanks for an excellent article. I am so sick of this adminatration I could just scream.

    • The Rising Glory profile image

      The Rising Glory 

      9 years ago from California

      You are absolutely right. It escapes me how anyone cannot see this. While support for the bill is extremely low, I can't imagine anyone supporting it.

    • bobmnu profile image


      9 years ago from Cumberland

      As you point out it is easy to see there is no compairing the two insurances. This administration has only one thing in mind and that is getting power and money (our Tax Money) for their supporters at all costs. It is through forums like this that the truth will come out. Keep up the good work Chuck.

    • chafiq555 profile image


      9 years ago from Gatlinburg

      I find it ridiculous that someone goes to jail because they can't afford to pay for health insurance. Very well done Chuck. Nicely organized and explained.

    • ocbill profile image


      9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      So, you must "have" health insurance provided by your employer, private insurance or the VA healthcare system for us vets or it is a crime. How will you be determiend to be breaking the law when you attempt to check in to a clinic or hospital? I'd think a lot more lower cost and illegal hack physicians / off the radar surgeons will be offering procedures to people.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Very good hub. You explained the difference perfectly. It's like apples and oranges, both fruits but distinctly different. Thanks.

    • Itswritten profile image


      9 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

      Glad to know that someone is keeping an eye out for Mandatory Auto Insurance is Not the Same as Obama Care Mandatory Medical Insurance. Great Hub


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