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Discussion: (10 comments)

  1. SeattleSam

    You find the same thing in every government “poverty program”. They are sold to the gullible public as helping those who are destitute, but a big portion of the beneficiaries are not. There are not 40 million people in the US who cannot afford to buy food. There are 40 million people who are glad to have someone pay for their food (and cell phone). The average household income of people earning minimum wage is over $50,000, but they’re quite happy to have someone pay them more in the name of helping the destitute. The typical person receiving a subsidized educational loan comes from a middle class income family. Families earning over $80,000 can be eligible for SCHIP insurance. The purpose of these programs is not primarily to help the destitute; it is to buy votes by taking money from one set of people and giving it a another.

  2. Che is dead
    1. Steven Hales


  3. I think the question is what should happen to these people if they require expensive healthcare because they either get severely injured or sick, requiring expensive medical treatment they can’t afford? Is it acceptable for them to die since they choose not to buy insurance? At the very least, perhaps we should allow them to obtain doctor assisted suicide so they can end their lives without suffering since they can’t afford medical care that would otherwise save thier lives?

  4. why is this such a revelation? This is human nature – around the globe.

    The same people would not buy auto insurance unless “forced”, nor would they pay FICA taxes unless “forced”, they would not pay property taxes for schools and law enforcement, EMS service unless forced.

    These folks would spend their whole life not paying for it until they then need it – and cannot get it and then rely on the govt (other taxpayers) to pay for their medical care, retirement expenses.

    That’s the core issue – not just in this country but every industrialized country around the world – more than 100 countries and a billion people – there is a certain number that will not pay for things they will use or ultimately will need.

    A certain number of people simply will not set aside money for their future needs even if they can afford it – and then later when they inevitably encounter costs – they will expect the govt / others to pay. They’ll show up at the ER expecting to get care and when they get the bill, they’ll say they can’t pay it because they have a lifetime of not paying for things they don’t have to.

    The compulsory payroll taxes protects other taxpayers from these people.

    These are the same people that we put traffic signals up for and laws to regulate their behavior -to protect others from them.

    Now there are countries where these kind of people are left alone and are “free”. They are called 3rd world countries and in those countries, they WILL let you die on the steps of the ER.

    But in every single industrialized country on the surface of the earth – they won’t let you die on the ER steps but they also won’t let you shrink your responsibility to pay.

    These folks have choices. They can convince enough others to have a govt that does not force them to pay (good luck on that) or they can go find a country that better suits their needs.

    The really funny thing is that the is the Conservative GOP that originally favored the “individual mandate” in 1993.

    In fact, in 1798, many of the signers of the Constitution supported “forced” payment of taxes for health care.

    Now you would have thought that if the framers of the Constitution did not envision the govt taxing people for health care – that they would have strongly opposed such legislation,but in fact, they favored it.

    1. Steven Hales

      Larry, Auto liability insurance is an indemnification for personal injury or bodily injury to a third party. The potential loss to the third party would be a result of your action. By definition you would have to make them whole even if you did not have insurance. You cannot make the same argument for health insurance. Your actions do not cause another’s illness nor does your failure to purchase health insurance transfer their health risks onto yourself.

      Your other examples of taxes being involuntary is also wrong. Most taxes are by definition consensual i.e., duly passed laws by freely elected representatives. Most taxes are ethical even those that fund the grant of positive rights like general revenues being allocated for a negative income tax better known as the EITC.

      The question for policy is not just what is ethical, e.g., do we have your consent to infringe on your negative rights, but also what is an effective policy; does it achieve its goals? Obamacare fails the ethics test and it perhaps fails the effectiveness test.

    2. So you would force people to do something in order to prevent them from being forced to do something?

      As always, the are several major logical problems with your comment. If you wish, I’ll point them out to you. Just ask.

  5. How many of the folks in the 25 to 50k category are families, where the medical insurance premium for the family is over 10k a year (a typical premium). 20% of income or up to 40% in that range is a lot to spend, although any family under 42k would be able to put their children on SCHIP in many states.
    If a family of 4 50k makes one at 225% of poverty or there about.

  6. Jon Murphy

    Does anyone have any hard numbers on how many of the uninsured are uninsured because they cannot afford it?

    1. I doubt it. After all, “afford” is subjective.

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