Insurance mandate starting to become a political albatross

posted at 9:30 am on January 11, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Could this be the sound of younger voters waking up to their exploitation by the Democrats?  The Sacramento Bee reports that people across the political spectrum have begun to resist the idea of a federal mandate to buy insurance, sensing correctly that they would in effect subsidize the health care of others more than themselves:

Michael Sertic, a college senior studying economics, is young and healthy, and he doesn’t want the government forcing him to buy health insurance.

He is among a group of people on both the right and the left ends of the political spectrum who object to proposals in Congress that would compel nearly every American to buy health insurance or face a fine.

“I happen to believe it’s unconstitutional. Government shouldn’t be forcing someone to pay for someone else’s health care,” said Sertic, 24, a member of Students for Liberty, a club at California State University, Sacramento, that espouses libertarian values. …

Libertarians condemn compulsory health insurance as unconstitutional, while some liberals argue that it would further allow insurance companies to hold consumers hostage to ever-increasing premiums. That’s particularly true, they say, if the final health care legislation does not contain a “public option,” or government-run health insurance program, that could provide competition to private insurers.

The efforts of Rock the Vote seem to have failed here.  Of course, Sertic is actually studying economics, which means he understands what insurance does — and why it usually doesn’t make sense for young, healthy people to buy comprehensive policies.  Insurance pools risk, and has the insured pay into a pool to cover all the expenses of all the members.  Those who use the system less get less value than those who use the system more.  Young, healthy people don’t use the system much at all — which means that most of their premiums will gain them no benefit at all.

For younger people, an inexpensive hospitalization policy makes the most sense, with the occasional doctor’s visit handled with cash.  A full physical would normally cost only $200 or less, which makes spending $300 a month on a comprehensive policy (the Minnesota average for 2007) an obvious waste, even if someone got a full physical every quarter.  It doesn’t take a postgraduate degree in economics to figure that out — and to figure out why politicians need to use the power of federal government to coerce younger people into economic slavery to the vast majority of the country that need their risk subsidized.

Will the youth of America wake up to the shackles that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have prepared for them?  Perhaps they have already done so.


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Without the public option, the mandate was a truly bad political idea. The only thing worse is taxing prior to benefits being available.

oh wait! That’s in there, too

AnninCA on January 12, 2010 at 9:51 AM

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