Forced To Buy Health Insurance

Under Sen. Ron Wyden’s the proposed Senate Bill, people who refuse to buy health insurance will be fined over $1000/year.

Called “shared responsibility payments,” the fines would be set at least half the cost of basic medical coverage, according to the legislation.

I’m sorry, I didn’t vote Democratic so they can fine me for not choosing health insurance. As I have said before, I shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for folks who choose to eat fast food three times a day. The cost for these programs will only go up. And they continue to take more money out of my paycheck to pay for these programs. Yet my pay isn’t going up that fast, which means I’m making less.

According to research done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, National Public Radio, and the Harvard School of Health, health insurance costs individuals an average of $4,800 annually. The cost for families to get insurance is even higher, at around $12,000 annually. These kinds of costs would push many people over the edge financially. How does Sen. Wyden propose that we pay for more people who will be unable to afford food, housing and education if they have to pay for health insurance? Effective health-care reform would be better accomplished by other means. Sen. Wyden’s own proposals to switch America from employer-based to individual health-insurance markets, for example, would do a great amount of good by encouraging competition and innovation without making life harder for the people having the most difficult time getting insurance.

Why not have individual health insurance markets? I can choose my car insurance, life insurance, cell phone provider, internet provider, cable tv provider, etc? Competition would create lower prices.

In Europe, where health care is free and state run, many experts say we may be going down a slippery slope.

Europeans have some of the world’s best hospitals and have made great strides in fighting problems like obesity and heart disease. But the system is far from perfect.

“What we can be proud of in Europe is the ground rules, that everyone has the right to health care,” said Jose Martin-Moreno, a health expert at the University of Valencia in Spain. “But the implementation has been difficult and one size does not fit all.”

Critics say the policies are often driven more by politics than science. Last week, Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised that patients unable to see cancer experts within two weeks would get cash to pay for private care. Brown had previously argued against paying for private providers and some say the reversal may be a gimmick to boost his sagging popularity.

A World Health Organization survey in 2000 found that France had the world’s best health system. But that has come at a high price; health budgets have been in the red since 1988.

“I would warn Americans that once the government gets its nose into health care, it’s hard to stop the dangerous effects later,” said Valentin Petkantchin, of the Institut Economique Molinari in France. He said many private providers have been pushed out, forcing a dependence on an overstretched public system.

“The minute you make health insurance mandatory, people start overusing it,” said Dr. Alphonse Crespo, an orthopedic surgeon and research director at Switzerland’s Institut Constant de Rebecque. “If I have a cold, I might go see a doctor because I am already paying a health insurance premium.”

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