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Old 04-05-2006, 09:57 AM   #1
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Mandatory Insurance?

Mass. May Make Health Insurance Mandatory

Quote:
The plan hinges in part on two key sections: the $295-per-employee business assessment and a so-called "individual mandate," requiring every citizen who can afford it to obtain health insurance or face increasing tax penalties.
A new tax is not surprising, but how to you force people to acquire insurance when they don't have it, but presumably can afford it?

Is there a large segment of society who is uninsured by choice rather than by necessity?
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:29 AM   #2
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It's really hard for me to see how anyone would choose to be uninsured.
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:38 AM   #3
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I wouldn't choose to go uninsured, but given it's cost I can understand why people would go without it. It's like playing roulette hoping you don't get really sick, but to some people that is offset by the extra money they have.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail
I wouldn't choose to go uninsured, but given it's cost I can understand why people would go without it. It's like playing roulette hoping you don't get really sick, but to some people that is offset by the extra money they have.


i've gone for periods being uninsured -- when you work in an industry that hires people on a contractual basis, and then seeks to pay them as little as possible because they know there are 100 people who will step in should you possibly make a fuss about anything, and the fact that due to Microsoft, if you work for a company for up to a year and they don't give you benefits they have to let you go for at least three months, and you don't make all that much and you live in an expensive city, sometimes, when you're young and healthy and never get sick, medical insurance seems almost not worth the money.

i did, however, purchase "catastrophic" insurance -- which means that you're covered if you are put in the hospital, but you have to fight the flu on your own. so if i were to, say, twist my knee while walking, i might as well jump in front of a bus, because then i'd be insured.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:24 PM   #5
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Some people prefer to pay the Dr in cash. Also, perhaps for religious reasons, people don't want/need insurance.
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:55 PM   #6
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Is it much different than mandatory car insurance?
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:02 PM   #7
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I think mandatory car insurance is different. The car insurance not only applies to you, but also protects you from paying for damage when some jackass rear ends you. Health insurance is only good for you, which for me, diminishes the need to make it mandatory.
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail
I think mandatory car insurance is different. The car insurance not only applies to you, but also protects you from paying for damage when some jackass rear ends you. Health insurance is only good for you, which for me, diminishes the need to make it mandatory.
Not exactly. It affects others if you're hurt on their property, or their time, etc.
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:19 PM   #9
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I have incredible health insurance through my work that I almost never use because 98% of my healthcare choices involve alternative healthcare not covered by insurance. While this bill sounds good because most people want insurance coverage and this will enable them to have it, if I weren't already covered by my employer I think I'd be pretty angry at mandatory coverage because that's money I'd use for supplements, acupuncture, the nutritionist I see, the gym and pilates classes, etc. that all keep me extremely healthy and pretty much make insurance a moot issue for me except in case of something catastrophic or a broken limb or something.
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Not exactly. It affects others if you're hurt on their property, or their time, etc.
But in those instances, the other person's insurance would not be paying like the case with car insurance.
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail


But in those instances, the other person's insurance would not be paying like the case with car insurance.
Not true, if one is injured due to their fault then their insurance pays.
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Old 04-05-2006, 04:07 PM   #12
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I think this plan definitely sounds like a step forward, although I wonder how precisely they'll determine who can and can't afford insurance (hopefully not like the way financial aid for college is decided!). As far as it goes though, I don't think mandatory coverage is a bad idea; you never know when a serious accident might happen, plus if you're diagnosed with some condition that will require extensive treatment (which happens, even to otherwise healthy young people), it's ususally much more expensive to seek coverage once the diagnosis is already made.
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
It's really hard for me to see how anyone would choose to be uninsured.
Those who are not uninsured usually didn't have the liberty to make it a 'choice'. As of May 12, I will no longer be insured. Since my current insurance is already refusing to cover my only prescription (birth control) and I can't afford health insurance at the moment, there's not much else I can do. I've got a wedding to pay for and nearly a hundred grand in student loans to deal with. For me it's not that big of a deal, b/c I plan on getting a job in October and like I said my current prescription isn't covered now anyway, but my fiancee is quitting his job and has to apply for health insurance with a pre-existing condition, epilepsy, which requires meds that cost him $4 a day, not to mention other regular neurological visits and tests. If he is accepted, lord knows how much they're going to make him pay...if it's too much, he's just going to have to live with not being insured until one or both of us gets benefits when/if we can find decent jobs after we move. All things considered, compared to most people who are froced to live uninsured in this country, we're pretty damn well off.
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:46 PM   #14
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Car insurance also covers the insured in case of a lawsuit. You don't stand to lose everything and your insurance company subrogates for you.

I am lucky to have insurance through benefits of my job. However, the price increases each year and the coverage/benefits decrease and change. Basically I feel I am lucky to have what I have in case of a bad accident or disease, illness. Where we didn't have to make a copay we now do, for each office visit and procedure. Also the Rx drug program associated with this huge conglomerate medical insurance corp. is so full of rules and regulations I've recently chosen to go off a long term medication because I am tired of dealing with the politics of insurance regarding coverage/co pay etc.

Living in San Diego I know many people who live in and some work in Mexico but come to California for healthcare. Most have applied for and received Medicare. I don't understand this. So if you make money you should be able to afford health insurance, but if you have no money and are poor, on welfare, aren't a citizen or lie about any of these things you can qualify for and receive Medicare? Sorry, I have a problem with this, especially because I feel those of us paying for medical insurance and care are also paying for those who cannot afford it. I'd rather see a Universal medical program here similar to that in Europe, Canada etc. but give US citizens the option of buying health insurance coverage that would give them better benefits, better care etc. if they choose.
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:00 PM   #15
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I would suspect that having health insurance is also a preventative measure. Many people are reluctant to go to the doctor to have legitimate problems looked at because they don't want to pay the fee.

I'm not saying we should be running to the ER any time we have a sinus infection, but if you catch something like bacterial bronchitis, you need to get that antibiotic and make sure it doesn't turn into pneumonia. If you have a twisted ankle, you need to check that it's not broken, etc.

A few years ago I had some really minor health problems that turned out to be endocrine. I wasn't in pain, it was just some minor inconveniences I experienced. My Mom wanted me to talk to an MD about it, and had I had to pay, I probably wouldn't have gone. But it turns out I had a genetic defect in an enzyme and had to be put on a medication for life to regulate it in my body. These are sorts of things I can see going on ignored by people and then leading to disaster.
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