Free Markets, Free People


The Unread Health Care Bill

HR3200, the House’s version of health care reform, can be found here, at the GPO’s web site, in PDF format.  All 1017 pages of it. You’ll need some time to read it.  It’s dense.  Too dense, in fact, for Congressmen to read, apparently.

Or, you can read this PDF file instead, which is a summary of the high points provided by Liberty Counsel, a conservative, pro-life legal firm, which apparently did read it. They reference the GPO’s file directly, so you can quickly track down the references they cite.  A randon selection from the critique:

• Sec. 205, Pg. 102, Lines 12-18 – Medicaid-eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No freedom to choose.

• Sec. 223, Pg. 124, Lines 24-25 – No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No “administrative of judicial review” against a government monopoly.

• Sec. 225, Pg. 127, Lines 1-16 – Doctors – the government will tell YOU what you can make. “The Secretary shall provide for the annual participation of physicians under the public health insurance option, for which payment may be made for services furnished during the year.”

• Sec. 312, Pg. 145, Lines 15-17 – Employers MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan.

• Sec. 313, Pg. 149, Lines 16-23 – ANY employer with payroll $400,000 and above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll.

• Sec. 313, Pg. 150, Lines 9-13 – Businesses with payroll between $251,000 and $400,000 who do not provide public option pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.

• Sec. 401.59B, Pg. 167, Lines 18-23 – ANY individual who does not have acceptable care, according to government, will be taxed 2.5% of income.

• Sec. 59B, Pg. 170, Line 1 – Any NONRESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay for their health care.)

• Sec. 431, Pg. 195, Lines 1-3 – Officers and employees of HC Administration (government) will have access to ALL Americans’ financial and personal records.

• Sec. 441, Pg. 203, Lines 14-15 – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.” Yes, it says that.

It’s actually quite an interesting read, even minus Liberty Counsels alarmist tone and worst-case-scenario suppositions.

The scary thing is…maybe they aren’t being alarmist.

Also, note the tax rates above very carefully for employers who don’t provide health insurance.  If you don’t think those rates are low enough to positively incentivize employers to dump private health coverage and turn it over to the government, then you just aren’t a very astute observer.  8% of payroll is nothing, compared to getting rid of the administrative headaches.

It’s not called “single-payer health care”.  But, objectively, that’s precisely what it is.  Private health insurance won’t be outlawed, of course.  It’ll still be perfectly legal to provide it, or acquire it.  It will just be starved to death under this plan, because employers will stop buying it.  It’ll be easier and cheaper just to push the employees over to the “public option”.

I wonder if our NHS ID cards will have our pictures on them.

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45 Responses to The Unread Health Care Bill

  • Is there a senate version to be found?

  • “• Sec. 59B, Pg. 170, Line 1 – Any NONRESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay for their health care.)”
    Although the Republicans claim they want to support illegal aliens for the votes, that’s a crock.   They support illegal aliens because a segment of their contributers want access to the blackmarket labor they provide.  This provision will make that even easier to and cheaper to attract that illegal labor.  This is why the Democrats will find just enough support among republicans to pass some form of the bill.

    • Uh, they don’t really need Republican votes (although I’m sure they would like some). And if any Republican votes for this thing, I doubt illegal immigration is the reason.

      Further, I don’t recall anyone claiming they support illegal immigration for the votes. Bush. McCain et al did pander to the hispanic vote, and they have been soft on illegal immigration, but to my knowledge they have’nt been so blatant.

  • I think that since Healthcare is a “right” that AUto insurance should be right as well. And the govt should pay for it. On top of that life insurance should be a right. The govt should have to pay $100 million in nontaxable death benefits to anyone on the public option plan. I mean it is unfair for the poor to be left with nothing when their relatives die when the rich have all the benefits.

    A car should be a right as well, I mean after all since car insurance should be a right then a car should be a right. And a house. A house with a bedroom for everyone paid for by the govt. That is a right too.

    And a job. If people want to work they should have the job of their choice. If they dont want to work then they should have to after all that is slavery forcing someone to work to pay for things.

    Welcome to Obamaland

  • retired military – “I think that since Healthcare is a ‘right’ that auto insurance should be right as well… [I]t is unfair for the poor to be left with nothing when their relatives die when the rich have all the benefits.”

    Stop giving TAO and the other idiots ideas!

  • retired miltary – Obamaland would have no life insurance at all. You must have missed Erb’s screed about the purpose of the government is ensuring a level playing field. Everyone should start out exactly the same, life insurance is just one more way the priveliged rich pass on money to their kin instead of someone they don’t know that could really use it better.
    Instead, the inheritance tax should be 100%. That gives decendants the first right to purchase anything of sentimental value from the estate without giving them the unfair advantage of having a wealthy ancestor (that probably stole it from the labor of the underpriveleged in the first place). Remember, when everyone starts out equal, the brightest and hardest working will succeed!

  • It sickens me to see all the lies being put out about healthcare by the right.  Before I dissect your document I would like to make a couple of points.  #1  Even if we had completely socialized medicine, it wouldn’t prevent private insurance or medical care.  #2  None of the elected officials in Washington, Democrat or Republican, give a crap about the common man.
    The writer of the above document was counting on you NOT looking it up.  He provided the reference to give himself a degree of credibility because most people are gullible enough to believe someone who spouts a reference without verifying it.
    Here is a line by line excerpt of what’s actually in the bill verses what he said was in the bill.  I challenge you to actually think for yourself and make up your own mind instead of letting other people tell you what to think.
    • Sec. 205, Pg. 102, Lines 12-18 – Medicaid-eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No freedom to choose.
    Actually says, “The Commissioner shall provide for a process under which an individual who is described in section 202(d)(3) and has not elected to enroll in an Exchange-participating health benefits plan is automatically enrolled under Medicaid.”  Only removes the choice to elect not to be covered.
    • Sec. 223, Pg. 124, Lines 24-25 – No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No “administrative of judicial review” against a government monopoly.
    This section has to do with fees being paid to providers and prevents companies from sueing the government for setting the price.  The medical providers aren’t being forced to accept a price unless they participate.  What right would you need to sue anyway if you aren’t being forced to do something against your will?  All that is happening is doctors aren’t going to be able to sue because they aren’t happy with the rate.  They either accept it and participate or they don’t accept it and don’t participate.  Seems a lot like a choice.
    • Sec. 225, Pg. 127, Lines 1-16 – Doctors – the government will tell YOU what you can make. “The Secretary shall provide for the annual participation of physicians under the public health insurance option, for which payment may be made for services furnished during the year.”
    This is true but he intentionally left off the last part of the sentence to mislead the reader it ends with, “… in one of 2 classes:” and goes on to define preferred physicians and participating non-preferred physicians.  Nowhere in the document did I see that it applied to all doctors as the statement suggests.
    • Sec. 312, Pg. 145, Lines 15-17 – Employers MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan.
    Again, the writer has deliberately misread the bill.  This Employer auto-enroll business is one of 4 choices the employer has to be in compliance.  The first option is to provide the same private health care he’s already providing as long as it meets the minimum requirements in the bill.
    At this point if you haven’t decided you need to check it out for yourself, you need to leave the debate.
     

    • I got this far:

      • Sec. 205, Pg. 102, Lines 12-18 – Medicaid-eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No freedom to choose. Actually says, “The Commissioner shall provide for a process under which an individual who is described in section 202(d)(3) and has not elected to enroll in an Exchange-participating health benefits plan is automatically enrolled under Medicaid.” Only removes the choice to elect not to be covered.

      “Only removes the choice to elect not to be covered”? What in blue blazes do you think “No freedom to choose” means?!

      Uh, thanks for the “analysis.”

    • “This Employer auto-enroll business is one of 4 choices the employer has to be in compliance. The first option is to provide the same private health care he’s already providing as long as it meets the minimum requirements in the bill.”
      Right, meets the minimums of the public option.  So in other words, identical.  Private insurance will have to cover everything the public option does.  In this country, state coverage mandates are a large reason why insurance is so expensive (in places like NJ, for example).  So private insurance will be more expensive since the bill will mandate lots of coverage and it will be no different.  What’s the point of that? It is one of the reasons this will drive private insurance away.

      • I think you could be correct about that. If the Liberty Counsel had said that instead of making it sound like employers would have no choice but to enroll all their employees in the government plan, I would have said they were correct too.

        • Again – the specific point has nothing – let me emphasize that word – nothing to do with “employers”. It has to do with automatic enrollment in medicaid for those the government determines are eligible for medicaid. What that means is those people have no choice in that enrollment.

          • That section has nothing to do with Medicaid. It’s talking about a public option.

  • I think it means you have NO choice as opposed to limited choices.  If they’d said “Limited choices” it would have been accurate but they did not say that.  They said “No freedom to choose.” 

    Your move.

  • I could understand if you were making the argument that limited choices were limiting our freedom.  I respect that point of view.  I don’t agree with it but I respect it because it’s not deliberately deceitful like the Liberty Counsel’s summary seems to be.

     


     

     

  • My reply got chopped.  Below is the entire statement.  Please remove my truncated reply if you can.
    I could understand if you were making the argument that limited choices were limiting our freedom.  I respect that point of view.  I don’t agree with it but I respect it because it’s not deliberately deceitful like the Liberty Counsel’s summary seems to be.

    Are you sticking to the phrase “no freedom to choose” because it sounds like a conservative talking point?
    You are acting as if I was arguing for people to support the legislation.  I’m not.  I’m arguing for people to research it for themselves and not let anyone tell them what to think.  That’s why I said, “if you haven’t decided you need to check it out for yourself, you need to leave the debate.”
    You have the freedom to get your own ideas.  It’s about time you did it.
    I know I know… no freedom to choose :P

    • A – I’m not a conservative.

      B – I’m not making the point about limited choices limit our freedom although I agree with it. I’m making a very specific point about a particular section of the bill.

      C – The words in that section are very clear – a person will be enrolled in Medicaid if eligible, period. I’ll ask again, since you seem to want to avoid the point – if you are automatically enrolled in something, whether you want to be or not, do you have the freedom to choose otherwise? The obvious answer is no. I find the fact that you continue to dance around that point amusing, especially in light of the fact you then have the temerity to tell others to “leave the debate” if they haven’t checked it out.

      I assume you think you’ve ‘checked it out’ yet you are also completely wrong about this point it is laughable. And then you top it off by pompously offering the suggestion I should get my own ideas.

      Heh … a true masterpiece of – well you choose the descriptive word that best fits.

      • Your statement about an elegible person being enrolled in Medicaid period is not true. The way to avoid it is to be enrolled in any number health insurance plans that meet the minimum requirements. As Grimshaw pointed out all insurance plans will either meet the government minimum or cease to exist. Therefore, an individual would be albe to choose from every commercial plan.

        Seems like a lot of choice to me.

        Besides, this is a crazy argument. Few Americans are in a position to choose their health care plan. Most are forced to accept whatever health care plan is provided by their employer. Where is the choice in that?

        • Oh for heaven sake, you can avoid an issue as well as a politician – if the person is unenrolled and eligible for medicaid, they will, without choice, be enrolled in medicaid. For someone who demands others read the legislation you continue to appear very unfamiliar with the point your lecturing others on.

          And, again, this is about a specific point, which you continue to miss.

          It might surprise you to learn (in fact I sure it would surprise you since you remain ignorant of what we’ve discussed in the past) that this blog has always encouraged getting health insurance out of the employers hands and into a real national pool which would lower the risk premium and make the insurance less costly (it would also solve the portability problem). It would also introduce real competition into the health insurance market. However it would mean government would have to do away with the mandates it has imposed by law and repeal the law that prohibits insurance providers from selling across state lines. IOW, it would mean the government would have to be less intrusive, not more intrusive.

  • I must appologize for the above post.  It was a version of what I intended to post but not the final version.  I had removed all of the insulting stuff because I didn’t want to focus on the fact that we disagree.  I’m truely sorry that it did make it on the post.

    The last think I’m going to say about this topic is that everyone on either side of this issue should be encouraging people to get informed by reading the legislation and educating themselves on the issue.  I don’t think Bruce would disagree with me.  Although, I do not think everyone involved in this issue has the publics or the countries best interest at heart, I don’t believe Bruce stands to gain by preventing good legislation from passing whether he agrees with it or not.  For the record, I’m not saying this is good legislation.  I make not comment about it’s value because I haven’t yet read it all.  I’m reserving my opinion on it in it’s entirity until I’m informed.

    • It might be nice if you followed the advice you choose to give others. You obviously know nothing about this blog or its authors. It makes your advice to others much more credible when such a lapse in your own behavior isn’t so evident.

      We didn’t just choose to talk about the health care bill today. We’ve been talking about the subject for months. Blogs have this little thing called archives. Ours has one with a “health care” category. I’d advise you to avail yourself of it before you give anymore advice.

      As for this particular legislation, I’m categorically against it. It is a travesty, a bureaucratic nightmare in waiting, and will save nothing in terms of cost (in fact the CBO has twice said it will actually increase cost) not to mention the fact that it is being sold on a raft of, to be polite, misinformation and soothing double-talk.

      There are plenty of ways to approach this problem without increasing the size of government and its intrusion in our lives. And, as you might imagine, although you in particular wouldn’t know it, we discuss those things in that archive called “health care”.

  • I suppose I deserve you lapse in behavior comment even though I already appologized for it. I hope this ends the “we are bad people because we disagree portion of the debate.”

    There is misinformation coming from both sides of this issue. That is why I encourage people to get informed and make up their own minds.

    I respect the fact that many Americans are of the opinion that the government can’t do anything right. I think one could site numerous examples, even with health care. I do not believe deliberately misleading people so they will have one view or the other benefits our democratic process.

    The fact is the Liberty Counsel’s summary is terribly biased. They selectively chose verbage from the bill with the intent of convincing people who are too lazy to read it that they should oppose it. Why else would someone deliberately misquote someone?

    • Congratulations – you’ve gotten your point across, at least in theory. In practice, you’ve been a very poor example of being “informed”.

    • I haven’t weighed in on any of your silliness, and I don’t really care to.

      But, Since I originally wrote the post, I’d simply like to point out that the original post I specifically referenced liberty Counsels “alrmist tone and worst-case-scenario assumptions”. I noted they were a conservative, pro-life legal organization, to get their biases out in the open. I noted their summary was referenced to the GPO-produced copy of the legislation, so our readers could check it out.

      So, I’m not entirely happy that you come kiting in here as an obvious non-reader of the blog, and procede to criticize the posts as if I had presented an uncritical acceptance of the Liberty Counsel document.

      How did you get here anyway? And your tone of faux reasonableness gets right up my nose. It’s an indication of an astroturfing attempt, or a disturbing level of earnestness.

  • Wow.  So I guess the pro-choice crowd has it all wrong.  They’ve always had choices for abortion, they’ve just had limited choices.
    It always amazes me in exactly how much doublethink liberals will go to in order to believe their leaders.

  • Although I understand why you thought I was writing about you when I wrote the “writer of the above document, I was in fact talking about the writer of the Liberty Counsel’s document.  It seemed obvious to me because I didn’t quote or site anything you wrote.  Nevertheless, I apologize if you were offended.
    You said, ” I’m not entirely happy that you come kiting in here as an obvious non-reader of the blog, and procede to criticize the posts as if I had presented an uncritical acceptance of the Liberty Counsel document.”  I have a couple of questions about this statement.  1.  How long does one have to read the blog before he or she can comment on a post? 2. If you weren’t trying to provide some credibility to their point of view, why did you suggest maybe they aren’t being alarmist?  That seems an unnecessary comment if your goal is to objectively provide information for others to evaluate.
    You wanted to know how I got her.  I was trying to find the bill number so I could read the Health Care Bill for myself.  Since newspapers almost always neglect provide a bill number I was searching the internet for it.  That is how I found your site.  Thanks for providing the bill number and the GPO link.  It was very helpful.
    You said, “And your tone of faux reasonableness gets right up my nose. It’s an indication of an astroturfing attempt, or a disturbing level of earnestness.”
    Have you considered the possibility that I actually am reasonable and still have a different opinion than you do on this issue?
    Honestly I am disturbed by the amount of misinformation that is being put out about this and many other issues.  I served our country in uniform for 21 years and feel I have earned the right to criticize the government without people questioning my patriotism.  But that is not typically the case.  For some reason people take political discussions personally like I’m telling them God doesn’t exist or something.  The pundits (from both sides) on radio and television aggravate the situation because they seem to digest the information for their listeners/viewers and provide an honest evaluation/summary of the issue when that could not be further from the truth in most cases.
    How did this discussion become about me anyway?
    I am who I represent myself to be.  I used my real name and everything.  If you would like to verify that, email me.  You have my email address.  Please don’t make it public.  I’ll reply with my phone number and that should be all you need.

    • 1. How long does one have to read the blog before he or she can comment on a post?

      You can comment immediately. But not doing your homework can make you look quite foolish- especially when you begin with bad assumptions.

      2. If you weren’t trying to provide some credibility to their point of view, why did you suggest maybe they aren’t being alarmist?

      I don’t recall ever saying anything one way or the other about alarmism.

      Have you considered the possibility that I actually am reasonable and still have a different opinion than you do on this issue?

      You may very well be resonable, but coming in here and attempting to lecture everyone about what they should do and how they should act while knowing nothing about them didn’t portray you as such.

      I served our country in uniform for 21 years and feel I have earned the right to criticize the government without people questioning my patriotism.

      Who questioned your patriotism? This is a straw man and you know it. No one, certainly not I, questioned your patriotism. What was questioned was your claim on the first section you cited in your first reply. Oh, and by the way, I served for 28.

      For some reason people take political discussions personally like I’m telling them God doesn’t exist or something.

      Perhaps it has something to do with the way you present yourself and your ideas. A little introspection might be in order.

      How did this discussion become about me anyway?

      Didn’t know it was – is it about you?

      I am who I represent myself to be. I used my real name and everything.

      And so do I – no one that I know of is doubting you are or who you claim you are. More to the point, I’m not sure why that’s particularly important.

      • I was responding to Dale. Somehow it didn’t end up connected to his comment.

  • Ted, I am wordless to respond to you idiotic communistic reply to retired military. The purpose of Government in case you have been sleeping these last years is to protect the people. Healthcare is not  right. If I work all my life and build up my estate why should anyone have access to the fruits of my labor except those whom I wish to give it to. Your rights are “life”, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those are all the rights you have and no more. Wake up and get a life!! Geez

  • You obviously have no idea what you are talking about Joe.  To start with you have the right to free speach.  You are going to love this one:

    It’s actually US law that everyone have access to sufficient health care that is present and ready for use by all people to the fulfillment of the need.  This comes from Article 6 of the Constitution which states, among other things, that, “all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”  The United States entered into the United Nations in 1945 and as such are susceptible to international law.  The UN General Assembly is the body that makes international law.  In 1948 the UN General Assembly ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), thereby making it international law.  Article 25 of the UDHR states, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and MEDICAL CARE and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

    I know you don’t like that but the fact that you don’t like it doesn’t make it true.

    • Wow … uh, sorry but I’m not beholden to the UN or anything the UN decides.

      And, although it may have escaped your notice, joining the UN does not comprise a ‘treaty’, and what you describe has never been ratified by the US Senate, the body which is charged with ratification of treaties.

      Or to put it more succinctly, what you’ve laid out here is a load of crap.

      But thanks for stopping by.

  • I can back up everything I say.   What do you think the following statement mean?

    “In a show of support, Truman attended the final session for the signing of the United Nations Charter, and congratulated the delegates for creating a “solid structure upon which we can build a better world.”  However, Truman still needed to secure Senate ratification of the Charter.  Both he and Stettinius urged the Senate to give its advice and consent to ratification; Truman said, “I want to see the United States do it first.”  In a testament to the sustained wartime efforts to build support for the United Nations, the Charter was approved in the Senate on July 28, 1945, by a vote of 89 to 2, with 5 abstentions.  (The U.S. ratification followed that of Nicaragua and El Salvador.)  The United Nations officially came into existence on October 24, 1945, after the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, China, and France, as well as a majority of the other signatories, had ratified the United Nations Charter.” (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/pubs/fs/55407.htm)

  • http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/123746.pdf
    page 473 in the PDF document.

    Enjoy

  • That document that you seem to have ignored is the list of Treaties in Force for the United States.  The UN Charter is listed with all the ratification details on page 473.

    I realize that soon you will be deleting my posts because will find it increasingly difficult to tolerate the truth I bring.  Remember.  I promise to site every single statement I make using credible (usually government) sources.  I challenge you to do the same.

    • Well you get to explain why, if “international law” requires health care as a “right”, the US is now trying to pass it without citing “international law” or trying to pretend its a right. The Supreme Court has been very clear about “international law” that comes into conflict with the US Constitution and “international law” doesn’t win. Nor do resolutions the UN pass obligate the US at all (unless the US chooses to obligate itself) as has also been obvious over the decades.

      But don’t sprain your brain trying to come up with some cute answer. My guess is you’re one of those who believe that a US flag with fringe is different than one without it.

      And no, I won’t be deleting your posts – loons land here every now and then and when they’re finally ignored, they go away. Well, except for one and he just finds being called a loon agreeable for some reason.

  • It actually states in the Constitution that if a treaty is in conflict with US law that US law takes precedence.
    You are correct about UN Resolutions not being international law.  Therefore, my statement was incorrect. I made too many assumptions.   As much as I hate to admit it.

    Fortunately, we live in a representative democracy and if we decide health care should be a legal right, then it will be a legal right.

    At this point I concede the issue.  It seems pointless to continue a debate with you.

  • My company employes 20 and under the so called reform would be forced to convert to the “public option”. The 8% tax is 50% of what I currently pay. I could incure these savings without the goverment interfering if I could just shop across state lines for our coverage. The very fact that these obstacles exist tells me that many are more concerned about who controls the health system than actually getting everyone coverage.

  • First of all, it is my opinion that this bill is not going to be helpful to all businesses.  It may not help any.  I think it is only likely to help those business that are already offering good health coverage to their employees that meets the QHCP standard outlined in the bill.  The only way it will help them is if it manages to lower insurance premiums paid by employers and I’m even skeptical of that.  Many businesses don’t offer health coverage and this bill will increase their costs, possibly to an intollerable level.  I am not an economist so I do not feel qualified to make such determinations.

    Where did you read that in the bill.  I have read lots of the actual bill (as opposed to the document referenced in the original post), especially those parts relating to what you describe and that is not the way I interpret it at all.
    There is a grandfathering clause that allows employers to continue to offer the same coverage you always had to existing employees already covered regardless of whether your current plan meets the criteria for a QHCP or not.  See Title I Section 102.
    You won’t have to offer the public option.  You will have to offer insurance or the consequence will be a “tax” that is up to 8% depending on the size of your payroll.  See Title II,I Subpart B, Part I, Section 311.  You have choices including providing completely public insurance that meets the QHCP standard.
    For full-time employees, employers will have to pay 72.5% of the premium for individual coverage and 65% for family coverage of the lowest cost plan (meeting the QHCP standard of course) offered by the employer.  Section 312

    The 8% of payroll tax you wrote about will be deposited in the Health Exchange for use by your employees if you elect not to offer coverage.

    What will the 65 and 72.5% minimum employer contribution do to your business?

  • Can it not be said with fewer words (as history reproves)???  “If government does it, it will be inefficient, inadequate, and intolerable.”

  • The phrase “No Freedom to Choose” seems to be a spin off of Milton Freidman’s “Freedom to Choose” – a book written by a prolific economist for the layman.  This book is from the neoclassical school of economics, which models behavior assuming a (nearly) perfectly rational human being.  According to these models, freedom to choose increases competition, which is benficial for society (i.e. the everyday man).
    However, if you lossen the “perfectly rational” assumption…as empirical evidence suggests we should (i.e. experimental economics, experimental psychology, behavioral finance, etc.)….then the picture changes.  In my mind (and there is plenty of EMPERICAL…that is NOT mathematical models but “real world” data…evidence to support this claim) people aren’t rational and cannot not be trusted to efficiently allocate resources under all circumstances.
    Perhaps healthcare, much like car insurance (kind of on the spot claim here, no academic research to back up the claim), is a situation in which we can’t trust people to behave rationally.  Perhaps mandating coverage will FORCE people to CHOOSE SOMETHING…which will result in better healthcare coverage (through choice and competitition) and the necessary funding to reduce the average premium (i.e. even healthy people have to pay).
    Also, the average person’s mind thinks in terms of probability, discounting, etc.  Even when it does, it is usually not accurate (and prone to systematic bias…see works of Tversky and friends).  I believe its reasonable to say people likely underestimate the benefits of health insurance (i.e. the probability and cost of potential healthcare).
    Conclusion:  maybe mandating healthcare coverage, WITH OR WITHOUT a government option….is a good thing.

  • Bruce,
    I thought I wouldn’t be surprised any more until I read your response above.  I’ll try to type it slowly so you can understand…..  • Sec. 205, Pg. 102, Lines 12-18 – Medicaid-eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No freedom to choose. Actually says, “The Commissioner shall provide for a process under which an individual who is described in section 202(d)(3) and has not elected to enroll in an Exchange-participating health benefits plan is automatically enrolled under Medicaid.” Only removes the choice to elect not to be covered.
    means  that  you  don’t  get  a  choice  not  to be  covered  – and  those  eligible  for  Medicaid  who  don’t  bother  to  enroll  will  be  enrolled  automatically  so  that  they  don’t  take  up  so  much  room  in  the  ER ‘s like  they  do now.    However, if  they do elect to enroll in another type of healthcare  insurance  they  will  not  be  enrolled in Medicaid.

    • Or, as I’ve said, those in that category have no choice in the matter. Seriously – what part of that don’t you understand? Your response only validates my point. Who in the hell are you or the government to decide what a citizen of this country must do, as it pertains to health care, if they choose not to? I assume you remember that “automatic enrollment” was one of the things that blew up Hillarycare. Anyway, I await your authoritarian answer.