Yes, you read the title right. By legally requiring citizens to purchase health insurance, that part of the Obamacare plan turns harmless, innocent people into "criminals", subject to punishment by the law. Isn't it just *wonderful* to be an American citizen? To live in the "land of the free"? Oh sure, there are plenty of countries that are worse to live in than the United States, but I'm not talking about being relatively free. I'm talking about the liberty to do as one wants as long as one is not doing harm to other people. Real freedom, true liberty.
Mandatory national health insurance as Obamacare calls for is a clear and obvious violation of the individual rights and liberties of the citizens of the United States. Have the American people become so cynical and jaded that they cannot see such a simple and obvious point?
Sure, we can say that most Americans already have health insurance of some kind, that only a limited number of Americans are actually being affected by this requirement. We can even say that the penalty is simply a relatively small fine, payable through their income tax returns--it's not like the non-compliers will be rounded up and sent to Guantanamo, or even to their local jail.
Nonetheless, rights are still being violated, however mild the penalty. Furthermore , since the law allows the government to act if someone doesn't comply, the penalty could be changed later, if the government deems it necessary.
Of course, some people will want to be pragmatic, practical. They say that we *have* to do this, in order to bring down health care costs. They will think that the coercion involved is justfied by the results the law brings about.
The problem with this is that there is no reason to believe that it will actually lower health care costs. The use of coercion tends to have unintended consequences. By forcing people to do things that they would not normally do, you are upsetting the equilibrium of the economy. The economy will react to this coercion, and a new equilibrium will be reached, but it is difficult to say exactly what this new equilibrium will be.
Given the complexity of legislation like Obamacare, there are many possible ways for people to react, many possible unusual consequences and undesirable results. People may fraudulently claim to be one of the exceptions to the legal requirement, for example, as they seek a way to meet the legal requirement while still trying to get the services they actually want from the medical community. Medical providers may charge differently, knowing that everyone has, or is supposed to have, health insurance. And since they're being paid by insurance, what the insurance company says becomes more important than what the patient says or wants.
And certainly insurance companies will react to the changes caused by the legislation. The insurance companies will do what the legislation requires, regardless of their customer's wishes or desires. They may have to charge more in order to meet the legal requirements.
Insurance, properly understood, is not merely spreading the risks among a larger pool of people. It involves statistical and actuarial data, and when done right, an insurance company already knows how much they can be expected to pay out in a year, and they charge their premiums to different homogenous groups according to those statistics. If the government steps in and requires insurance companies to treat heterogeneous groups like homogenous groups, or if they require uninsurable people to be insured, this will create a higher degree of risk and uncertainty, not only for the insurance companies, but for their customers.
Insurance companies should be allowed to provide real insurance, and not merely be used by the government as a way of shifting health care costs, which is essentially what mandatory health insurance will result in, causing higher, not lower, health insurance and health care costs for most Americans.
In short, mandatory health insurance is not only morally wrong, but is an impractical way to reduce health care costs and relieve the burdens of American citizens. It will interfere with the market's ability to satisfy consumers, and will increase the difficulty and frustration of getting good health care. And when the results of Obamacare are seen to be undesirable, as they inevitably will be, the government will undoubtedly step in and take more drastic regulatory measures to try to fix it, and thus create a vicious cycle of even more problems with health care in the U.S.
But don't take my word for it. We're all about to live with the consequences of this far-reaching, devastating legislation. And I won't say "I told you so" if you'll wake up to what's wrong with it, and help me try to reclaim our liberty and support individual rights.