June 27, 2012

Things to remember about the individual mandate

It was invented by the right wing Heritage Foundation.

The crash of the individual mandate will increase pressure for expanding Medicare and moving towards single payer.

During the whole Obamacare debate, we didn't find one liberal commentator concerned about the financial cost to individuals of the mandate, a cost that might increase expenses anywhere from $5000 a year for an individual to  $12,000 a year for a family of four.

Admittedly, some of the uninsured could afford this sum but many can't. And as the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas noted back in 2004: "The lack of insurance is particularly acute among Hispanics."

In pushing for the individual mandate, Obama wanted success more than he wanted a specific goal. Thus his compromises were not wise incremental steps towards something grander, but a hodgepodge of deals with the ultimate aim of having something to brag about. Further, the dangerously bad was mixed with the clearly good. This is not a good legislative approach.

Obama told the talk show host Ellen DeGeneres of the health mandate in February of 2008, “If things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t."

The mandate was not put in the bill for citizens but for the insurance industry. As Peter Suderman notes at Reason, "According to a Supreme Court brief filed by the insurance industry's biggest lobbying group, the industry doesn't oppose the law—just so long as it includes the most constitutionally dubious provision, a mandate to purchase health insurance."


Anonymous said...

Honestly, I hope the SCOTUS comes back with the individual mandate being illegal and everything else being upheld. That seems like the best result for the people.

I don't mind the individual mandate as long as it is guaranteed to be funded by the federal government.

Shut down the prisons and the military and serve the people, will ya?

Capt America said...

Now Obama can veto anything short of single payer. Will he?