Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What individuals should do

[Note: This is part of an informal "what X should do" series about ObamaCare; I've previously posted on "what President Obama should do" and "what the insurance companies should do"]

To quote Nancy Reagan, "just say no".

Specifically, just say no to this:

[U]nder my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance -- just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise -- likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still can't afford coverage, and 95 percent of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements. But we can't have large businesses and individuals who can afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility to themselves or their employees. Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part.

To forestall immediate descent into partisan Obama bashing, a brief digression: Obama cribbed the "individual mandate" described above from "conservative" Republican Mitt Romney, who signed it into law as governor of Massachusetts and then bragged about / defended it (rather than vetoing it as he did eight other provisions of the law, including an "employer mandate" similar to the one described above) in 2006. So please ... don't try to turn this into a "left/right" thing.

The insurance companies are drooling over this, of course, and their water carriers in Congress from both major parties will support it (while quietly gutting the "unicorns and ice cream for everyone" restrictions on pre-existing condition refusal, payment caps, etc.) if they can get away with supporting it.

So, the first thing to do is let your congresscritter know that (s)he can't get away with supporting it.

The second thing? Obey little, resist much.

It just so happens that I am, at this particular moment, insured. And while I'm glad, at this particular moment, to be insured (I have dental coverage, and that coverage is saving me about $1200 on the mass extraction/denture procedure I'm getting ready for -- for those who have been following the saga, I got the molds made last week and should get the teeth yanked some time in the two to four weeks), I've lived a good part of my life without insurance.

If the proposal described in President Obama's speech is passed and signed into law, I'll be returning to uninsured status ASAP -- and giving anyone who comes calling to collect a fine a close-up look at my middle finger when I hold out my hands for them to put the cuffs on.

Anyone who's in a position to do likewise, should.

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