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This is my first diary, so please have mercy. Constructive criticism/disagreement is ALWAYS welcome.

Since the Healthcare Reform law was passed by congress last year, there has been an enormous backlash by the Right-wing in this country. We have all heard the of the stories, arguments and litigious cases seeking to challenge portions of the law, or the whole law entirely.

However, most cases are specifically ones dealing the Individual Mandate provision, the part of the law that says that a person must buy health insurance (regardless of who its from) within a certain time period, or that person will be subject to fine and/or other penalties.

Among the Right's most favored arguments is the one that cites the Individual Mandate as a "forced expense", "another tax", "classic overreach" and an "intrusion into people's lives" by the federal government. That line is really starting to get on my nerves, and honestly, I think that its best described as "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

There exists ANOTHER (gasp!) mandate in this country, yet no ever seems to mention it in regards to countering these foolish arguments. That mandate is of course the CAR INSURANCE mandate.

In all 50 states, people are required to buy car insurance, accident insurance, collision insurance, etc., whatever you would like to call it. Driving uninsured is ILLEGAL, and carries fairly stiff penalties, including at times, loss of driving privileges.

So lets get the facts straight here:

-NOT EVERYONE drives in this country, yet the government forces people who do to buy car insurance so that they can afford repairs and other costs associated with vehicle damage and maintenance.

-EVERYONE in this country has a body and a "health" to maintain, yet the government mandating people to buy insurance is considered to be an overreach, and an "unnecessary expense" ? Really?

The RW can go ahead and push that argument, but at least be logically honest and apply that reasoning uniformly. By their logic, Car Insurance mandates should be equally unconstitutional right, and should be considered another forced expense. Yet why aren't they? Why aren't we seeing massive "Car Party" protests, with people waving flags saying "don't drive on me"?

Where is the outrage, where is the litigation? Oh, that's right, when it comes to health insurance, the RW's lackeys have insurance corporations to protect.

To be honest, we know the value and necessity of having Car Insurance. Costs involved with recovery, repairs and management almost always exceed what the person is able to pay out of pocket, right away, so the insurance helps to cover or close the gap.

It works the same with Health Insurance. For example, in Michael Moore's "Sicko", think back to the story about how a man who has 2 fingers severed had to decide between which finger he wanted to reattach, because the operation on each finger cost around 45-55k. How many of us here can pay that sum out of pocket? Exactly. Health Insurance does that same thing for people that Car Insurance does for drivers. It helps to manage the cost.

The argument that the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional or an overreach of power is fine to have, but then be intellectually honest, and protest the Car Insurance mandate with the same fervor and ferocity, because it does the exact same thing. And if you can't, at least own up to the fact that you represent the corporate 1%, and not the peoples' interests.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kareylou, Egalitare

    Socialist Fuckstick No. 308273

    by culturejammer on Sun May 29, 2011 at 05:06:35 PM PDT

    •  Edit to correct purpose of Auto Insurance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The purpose of the state required auto insurance is to pay for damage you cause to other people's property and bodies.  There is no requirement to insure against damage to yourself or your car - however they party you borrow money to purchase the car may require the you insure your car as well.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Sun May 29, 2011 at 06:28:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  two differences (5+ / 0-)

    1. I can choose to avoid paying car insurance by not driving. There is no similar opt-out provision for the insurance mandate. No way to remain outside the sytem.

    There is no way to avoid paying in the madate system.

    2. Car insurance laws are State laws iirc.  States have different powers than the federal government. So a State being able to do X does not mean that Washington can also do X. Washington can only do what the US constitution allows.

  •  I am not a fan of the individual mandate. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, stevej, Shahryar, keikekaze, JesseCW, LHB

    Expecting people to buy insurance when they can't buy food is not helpful, particularly when what they will have available to them is "junk" insurance, where the deductible is usually so high that they end up paying for many procedures, anyway.

    Also, if you think there was no objection to mandatory car insurance then you must not have been born when it was implemented.

    Single payer is the way things should be.  Making excuses for forcing people to line the pockets of the insurance industry doesn't win you any friends in my neck of the woods.

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Sun May 29, 2011 at 05:22:31 PM PDT

    •  agreed. It's the dollar amount that's the problem (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kareylou, nchristine, james321, Got a Grip

      I have pretty decent auto insurance at a rate that I consider fair.

      If auto insurance cost me over $1000 a month I'd have to give up driving.

      For those of us who can't afford health insurance it's the equivalent of giving up driving. We just give up the notion of catastrophic health care, should we ever need it.

      For small things I'll go to Zoomcare, our local clinic style health care provider. If there were a serious problem I'd have to pay for it myself anyway, with the deductibles being what they are.

      If it were really, really serious, life affecting, then I'm out of luck I guess. If I had insurance then whoopee! I'd be a winner. I mean that if you buy insurance yourself then you're just giving money away to the insurance company unless you get a major life threatening problem. Then it'd be worth it and that's kind of sad.

      You only have real insurance if you lose.

      At least with car insurance if someone smacks into my car it'll get fixed. It's not like I have to pay for the insurance AND pay for the repair.

      Maybe if health care deductibles were limited to $500 it'd be worthwhile, but at my age, and my wife's age, we're looking at a $7500 deductible and more than $1000 a month premiums. We might as well keep the $12000 a year and pay out of pocket.

      •  Coverage for your own loses is voluntary. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Got a Grip

        It's coverage for the loses you might cause others that you're required to carry.

        And that's the biggest difference.

        "That's what Slink gets for commenting around with those short one-line posts and wearing all of those liberal ideals."

        by JesseCW on Sun May 29, 2011 at 07:28:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome! Good thoughts, but you can choose (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine, hardhatmama

    not to own a car. You can't choose not to have health care -- unless, of course, you're OK with dying.

    The individual mandate is sickening -- with a public option, it's tolerable, but without a PO, it's the government subsidizing the ultra wealthy...

  •  Well here is the more legitimate pointp (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why was it okay for Governor Mitt Rommey to enact in MA's plan? Where were all the lawsuits against Romneycare?

    I personally don't like the individual mandate either because some people could only afford junk insurance. But junk insurance is better than not having insurance at all.

  •  PPACA should have had the mandate by (0+ / 0-)

    Increasing everyone's taxes by the amount of the penalty, and then give a tax credit for this same amount if you had qualified insurance.

    Mathematically, the same as current law, but there would be no question about constitutionality, and people prefer to get a benefit for doing something rather than a penalty for not doing it.  It also is less heavy handed of government.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Sun May 29, 2011 at 06:33:53 PM PDT

  •  I'm not a fan of the Mandate (0+ / 0-)

    We have it because it was the compromise that could be reached at that point in time.

    We can use this current attack on Medicare (and Medicaid and SS) to assert how a Public Option (even a "less than Robust" one) is better on several levels than picking and choosing between a very limited number of Big Health Insurance options that will be insufficiently regulated.

    The Mandate is bad, but even if we have to have it become the law of the land for a breif period, I hope it spurs people who never had to have insurance before to consider what a much better and reliable deal Medicare for All/Opt In would be.

    What we cannot allow is for a consensus to be reached that eliminates the Mandate and replaces it with NOTHING.

    The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

    by Egalitare on Sun May 29, 2011 at 06:36:52 PM PDT

    •  nonsense. Any PO or SP will be more open to (0+ / 0-)

      attacks just as Medicare and Medicaid are now. The involvement of private insurers is what will save it from the Supreme Court's pro business bias.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Mon May 30, 2011 at 01:18:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It would have been straightforward to impose a tax (0+ / 0-)

    But the administration did not want to impose a tax, possibly because it could be seen as a violation of its pledge not to raise taxes on households with less than $250,000 of income.

    At the time of passage of the bill, the administration characterized the potential monetary consequences of not purchasing insurance as a penalty and not a tax.

    In court, the administration has argued that the monetary consequences are constitutionally permitted by the federal government's power to "lay and collect taxes."

    As noted by commenters, the auto liability insurance mandate, required by state law as a condition of driving a vehicle, is a significantly different  between a federal government mandate to purchase health insurance.

    WASHINGTON — When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

    And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

    Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.

  •  The mandate could prove to be interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because rank & file conservatives oppose it (I do as well because there is no P.O.) however the insurance companies LOVE it,  so it will be very interesting to see if the Republicans really try to eliminate it.  My guess is that they will not.

  •  You can't really be so dense as to believe (0+ / 0-)

    that everyone owns a car.

    There is no right to drive.

    There is a right to live.

    Oh, and car insurance has nothing to do with car maintenance.

    "That's what Slink gets for commenting around with those short one-line posts and wearing all of those liberal ideals."

    by JesseCW on Sun May 29, 2011 at 07:27:14 PM PDT

  •  Not in New Hampshire (0+ / 0-)

    You don't have to have car insurance in New Hampshire.  I think there are 2 or 3 other states that you don't either.  

    And I'm against the mandate.

    I hope the rest of the bill holds up, but I want the Supreme Court to throw out the mandate.  

  •  It is simple, You can not mandate that insurers (0+ / 0-)

    cover everyone unless you mandate that everyone has insurance.

    If you try to get around the refusal to issue (at any price) insurance covering persons with preexisting health conditions, you have to have a mandate.

    If you don't the insurers will just stop selling insurance to the non-employer market. It is that simple.

    Additionally, among those who refuse to buy coverage a percent get into positions where they need to be treated and can't pay the costs get dumped on the public. The tax payers get stuck with the bill.

    Mandates for insurers require mandates on everyone.

    I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

    by samddobermann on Mon May 30, 2011 at 04:54:28 AM PDT

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