Thursday, June 28, 2012

How to get good health care without the individual mandate

In the wake of today's Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, one of my conservative friends pointed out that 68% of Americans oppose the individual mandate to buy health insurance. That's accurate, or possibly low. The Kaiser Family Foundation found in April that only 30% supported the mandate.

Oddly enough, however, most respondents supported other features of the Affordable Care Act: 60% supported guaranteed insurability, 66% supported Medicaid expansion (which the Supreme Court limited), 71% supported extended dependent coverage, and 78% supported closing the Medicare "doughnut hole," which makes prescription drugs more expensive for seniors.

Hey, there are ways to get those features without an individual mandate:
  • We could switch to a single-payer system
  • We could pay twice or three times as much for health insurance
  • We could move to Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom--or France or Belgium or Switzerland or Italy or any other developed nation. Oh, wait, that might not work. Those countries have all the features we like, and their costs are significantly lower than ours, and their outcomes tend to be better than ours--but they all fund health care through taxes, an individual mandate, or a combination of the two.
Or we can just go on electing people who tell us we can have everything we want without paying for it.

1 comment:

Ginger Cantu said...

Amen to that. I have found that it is quite difficult, if not impossible, to have my cake and eat it too. No one has said that The Patient and Affordable Care Act was the end product. It is the base upon which to build. It is so much better than what we have now.