Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A thought I had recently about the Big American Health Care Debate

For the last year or so there has been a lot of talk about the manner in which health care is handled in the United States. The term 'Health Care System' is often used, but calling the chaotic mess that currently exists a system seems like a whitewash to me.

The one component of the proposed reform that bothers me greatly is the mandate - the idea that everybody will be forced to buy insurance under the new laws. This seems like a very, very bad thing to me and is very discomforting.

I realized a few days ago that I've been buying insurance for myself (& my family) for most of my adult life, and for at least the last 12 years, if not longer. The mandate won't affect me directly. If anything it may help me if it has an affect of bringing rates down. (Unlikely, but why not dream a little? :) )

My aversion to the concept still exists, but I think about it more deeply now, pondering why I feel strongly about the issue. My best guess is that it offends my sensibilities similarly to seatbelt and motorcycle helmet laws, although it doesn't feel the same. I avoid absolutes, but generally I oppose laws regulating personal behavior, and laws that seek to protect people from themselves. I believe every person should be allowed to do whatever he or she wants, provided it doesn't hurt somebody else. You should be permitted to be an idiot, if that's your choice.

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