Is it right to require people to purchase health insurance? I have mixed feelings on the subject.
First, I understand the concept of insurance and of “pooled risk”- the notion that the premiums of those whose homes do not burn will be used to pay for damages to the homes that do burn. And I understand the need for everyone to participate in order for this system to work at its best.
The part where I struggle is when we are delivered to a voracious, for-profit industry like so many lambs to slaughter. There should be, at the least, a “reasonably priced”, non-profit option (we can discuss what a reasonable price is separately).
When I discuss this with my friends, they invariably point out that auto insurance is mandatory. To which I reply, “If one does not wish to pay for auto insurance, there is an alternative- it is called Public Transportation.
What alternative exists in the health insurance discussion? If we choose to not purchase an overpriced product from a for-profit health system, what alternative do we have? What happened to the “public option”?
So here is where I end up: if a reasonably priced, non-profit alternative exists, I support mandatory coverage. But if the only option is to pay into an overpriced, for-profit system, then I do not support mandatory coverage. What do you think?