The Individual Mandate Tax, explained

Grace-Marie Turner of The Galen Institute outlines the many taxes and fees that will be imposed upon Americans who do not buy government-approved health insurance.  She also hits on this important point:

Remember that the government will determine what health insurance policies meet its approval to satisfy the individual mandate. If citizens decide they prefer a different health plan, they would have to pay for that insurance as well as pay the new tax.

The press often presents the individual mandate as a dichotomy: buy health insurance, or pay a fine.  It ignores the fact that you can have health insurance – and good health insurance, appropriate for your own needs – and still have to pay several hundred dollars in penalties.

If your health care plan doesn’t cover birth control, prescription drugs, several “free” doctor’s visits, or has an out-of-pocket limit that is “too high”, you will end up buying health care and paying a fine.  The alleged purpose of the individual mandate is to protect consumers from waiting until ill to purchase health care – the quid pro quo of requiring insurance companies to take all comers, thus preventing consumers and insurance companies from cherry-picking.

There is an iota of logic in not wanting people to switch from an inexpensive, high-deductible plan to an expensive, comprehensive plan should they fall ill, as there is some logic in reducing uncompensated care.  However, the government’s solution of requiring every person to buy high-priced health insurance creates an entirely new group of problems (i.e. raising the cost of care and the bureaucracy needed to access said care), and is aimed directly at “reforming” that which works well.   The 250 million Americans with health insurance are not the problem in need of a solution: approximately 90% of them are satisfied with the health care available to them. Yet the slew of ObamaCare requirements will obligate millions of those Americans to change their health care plan or to pay a fine.


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Filed under Individual Mandate, ObamaCare

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