In Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, Single-Payer
Repsonse from something I read in a Kaiser Health News blog by Stuart Taylor, Jr.:
Meanwhile, the purpose of the individual mandate is to force millions of Americans to obtain health insurance — whether they want to or not — in order to offset the costs that health insurers would bear under the health care law’s requirement that they sell insurance to everyone without charging those with especially costly health problems more than healthy people.

Interesting. One could put it another way.

1. The individual mandate lowers hidden costs in the premiums of those who actually pay the premiums. Those hidden costs are of the uninsured availing themselves of the healthcare system without the ability to pay. Those hidden costs get passed on in the form of higher premiums.

2. If we charge the sick more money for their premiums, what do we do with them when they no longer can afford the higher premiums and join the ranks of the uninsured? Raise the premiums to cover the hidden costs….but more people drop out because of the higher premiums…then raise the premiums some more because now even MORE people are uninsured adding more hidden costs….then EVEN MORE people drop out because premiums rise again to cover the additional uninsured.….How long can this go on before the pool of paying people gets so small that the system collapses under the weight of the uninsured trying every means possible to get care but are unable to pay for it? The US is at about 50 million uninsured and counting.

3. The great irony in this debate? The individual mandate protects the entire for-profit system from collapsing. Although some would like to see that happen.  Then conditions would be ideal for ushering in a single-payer system.  The individual mandate actually keeps the for-profit model of delivering healthcare solvent. What a gift to the insurance companies. (You won’t hear them complaining about the individual mandate. They want some consumer protections gutted to maximize profits)  If the general public really understood this, they’d keep their fingers crossed behind their backs to nullify anything out of their mouths having to do with the US Supreme Court striking down Obamacare. If Obamacare is shot down it is just a matter of time until our current for-profit system collapses.  (See #2.)

4. The way to control costs without an individual mandate? Let’s admit that we as a country do not want to pay for the uninsured and don’t want to find a way for the uninsured to pay for themselves i.e. individual mandate.  Let’s admit that we’re OK with the policy NO INSURANCE, NO SERVICE.  And let’s be honest and admit that we’re fine with the body counts of those trying to access healthcare.

A proffered response is often “I’m not against reform, just Obamacare.” Health savings accounts as a keystone of alternative solutions cannot not do the heavy lifting required to get everyone access to healthcare — a subject for another blog.

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