One of the biggest problems conservatives have with Obamacare – other than the fact that Obama introduced it – is that it forces you to purchase something. The Supreme Court actually sided with this line or argument. The Government doesn’t have the power to force you to buy an iPad or a car, and they don’t have the power to force you to purchase health care, either.
The Supreme Court realized this is bullshit, of course, and sidestepped the issue by declaring the mandate a tax. This is fine, but I want to look at the reasoning behind “the Government can’t force me to buy something.”
That is clearly, plainly wrong. The Government has been forcing us to buy things from the very beginning. Let’s take, for example, the military. The Government forces us to buy, through our taxes, machine guns and tanks and fighter jets and bombs. The Government forced us to buy the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The Government forced us to buy those porno scanners the TSA uses at airports. You know, the ones that don’t work and might give you cancer? Yeah, we paid for those.
The Government forces us to buy a retirement plan … it’s called Social Security.
And the Government foces us to buy health care … for other people. It’s called Medicaid.
The reason we’re forced to buy these things is that they’re for the common good. Our country as a whole is safer when we have a military guarding our borders. Our nation is safer when we have people stopping terrorists from hijacking planes … or would be if said people weren’t complete fuck-ups. Our nation is better off with the safety nets we’ve set up for the elderly.
And you know what? Health care is a national good. We are all better off when we all have coverage. You, yes you, are going to get sick some day, and you’re going to need treatment. If you live long enough, you are going to get cancer, or have a heart attack, or develop diabetes, or … something. Because we all do.
We already subsidize people without health insurance … we just do it in the stupidest way possible. We send them to an emergency room, where they receive free care … free to them, at least. Taxpayers still foot the bill. Under Obamacare, people who can afford insurance will have to buy it, or pay a tax to offset the cost of their eventual heath care costs. Health care costs that they will have.
This is going to lower costs, not raise them. And it’s going to penalize free riders. This is about as fair and equitable as a health care system could be, unless we went to single-payer.