More cheering yet is the logic implicit in Coulter’s phrase “free-market alternative.” Alternative what? Answer: alternative mode of providing universal health coverage. That’s what Gov. Mitt Romney accomplished in Massachusetts—universal coverage via private insurance. Universal coverage is what Romneycare provided, and if you give Romneycare three cheers, universal coverage is what you are cheering. Many conservatives dismiss the significance of that achievement—when they do not disparage universal coverage outright as some terrible invasion of liberty. But as Coulter says,
No one is claiming that the Constitution gives each person an unalienable right not to buy insurance.
Right! True! And really—who doesn’t want insurance? When we see tens of millions of people going without insurance—and thereby either suffering much worse health outcomes or else dumping their costs onto others (or both)—we’re not seeing a principled aversion to coverage. We’re seeing a crisis of affordability.