Why is Health Insurance becoming Mandatory? What's the point?

MonkeyZazu (@monkeyzazu) 8 years, 3 months ago

I’m trying to better understand why health insurance is becoming required? I feel as though it would be a waste if you never go the hospital for anything. Say I pay $100 a month for health insurance, which comes to $1200 for the year. 5 years pass and I never go the hospital. So basically I paid the health insurance company $6000 for nothing? Another thing is what if you can afford your medical expenses? Maybe you go to the doctor once a year for a checkup that cost $50. If you had health insurance it would be cheaper, but you would be spending more money on the health insurance than the actual medical bill. That makes no sense to me.

I understand people who are constantly in and out of the hospital, but why make it mandatory when everyone isn’t like that?

I’ve heard arguments saying that its like car insurance, but its really not. Car insurance isn’t required of you by the federal government, but the by the state. There are one or two states where car insurance isn’t even required of drivers. Plus I think a person has a lot more control over their individual health than the things they encounter while their driving.

Any information on this topic would be helpful and appreciated. This webpage talks about the consequences if you don’t get health insurance in 2014: https://www.healthcare.gov/what-if-someone-doesnt-have-health-coverage-in-2014/

October 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm
Joseph (114) (@warriors41) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

I don’t know if this was said already, but being from Canada with our health care that is paid for because everyone chips in a little, Even if I never attend the hospital even once the rest of my life, I will be content with understanding that other people have been to the hospital and have benefited, no matter who they are, no matter how rich or poor. It’s a good kind of society, One where every person looks out for another. I think the problem with some people from places like America is that they are too caught up in their ego, in materialism and consumerism: Everything has a price that I can buy for myself. well no, everything has a value that we have agreed on and we both may benefit. That’s how we gotta think. I don’t even know the numbers, I don’t care enough, but doesn’t already a lot of value (money) go directly to people who work for the government? you pay their salary. Money is just a number, i’d rather give more numbers to doctors than those that stand in front of a podium and expel fancy words in an attempt to satisfy our confusions. Is this not common sense for anyone?

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JonH (1,139)C (@IJesusChrist) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@theskafish, You need to stop being so depressed about everything.

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Filip (2,818)M (@filipek) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@monkeyzazu, I cannot imagine health insurance not being mandatory. I live in a country where health care is taken care of in a way that everyone is taken care of when ever something happens.

Man I have heard horror stories in the US where they will not perform surgery on you, albeit you can be in a life threatening situation, just because they cannot find a card on you that says you got health insurance? Holy crap how fucked up is that?!?

Sure you pay $100,- a month extra and you have less to spend on other things, but is it not a beautiful thing that everyone will be helped when ever they have health issues? C’mon, the US is not a 3rd World country, but it surely looks like regarding health insurance.

Yes, you are right, maybe you will not go to the hospital for 5 years in a row and you will save $6000,-, but maybe your mum will be able to undergo a newly developed special cancer treatment which would normally cost $60,000.
Still not convinced?

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MonkeyZazu (1,865)M (@monkeyzazu) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@ijesuschrist, @warriors41, @theskafish, @filipek, @connerj93, @reinvented2012, @mallorn, @jdavey23, @spiraltouch, @linds, @francina, @spaceghost, @moonglade,

Thanks for your replies and opinions. I’m pretty tired and it’s pretty late, so I might not cover everything. Basically I’m seeing:

– It shouldn’t be mandatory
– It should be mandatory
– There should be universal health insurance, similar to a tax
– You never know whats going to happen tomorrow
– Just the government trying to control us, get more money
– Government trying to help us
– Wouldn’t want to support people who don’t need it
– Alot of Skafish, hehe :)

To further express my own opinion, I feel its more important to prevent illnesses and injuries than it is to tend to them. That’s somewhat my main quarrel with this. How is mandatory health insurance helping to reduce sickness and improve health? If more and more people are going to hospitals in which a mandatory health insurance bill comes about, we should put more focus on what’s sending them there and not so much on reassuring that they will have a cheaper bill when they get there.

Like I said before, if this was a mandatory nationwide health insurance “tax” that helped everyone with their medical bills, I would be ok with it. That actually helps everyone. But the way it currently is, the people who can’t afford health insurance aren’t getting help with their medical bills and are being penalized if they don’t have it. Plus that article that @linds posted about hospitals who tend to uninsured patients will be fined? That’s fucked up. So me paying a monthly bill so that I, someone who rarely goes to the hospital, will have cheaper medical expenses is nonsense. I’d rather pay for someone else who actually needs it.

For the people who suggest that you never know whats going to happen tomorrow, I kinda have really good idea of whats going to happen though. The possibility of me getting injured or becoming sick is far less than the probability that tomorrow will be the same as it has been, injury free. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the “what ifs” and possibilities, but the possibility that anything could happen tomorrow is too tiny to justify a mandatory health insurance. If this possibility was larger than probability of tomorrow being the same, I would probably stay in my house all day because of the fear of anything being very likely to happen.

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stryder (845) (@stryder) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

I lot of the replies seem to be along the line of ‘Well, I keep myself healthy and I proberly won’t need to go to hospital for the next few years, why should I pay for it?’, but you don’t if next week you’re gonna develop cancer or get run over by a car, and you’ll risk the chance of being hit by expansive health care bills.

Even if you’re not going to need to use your insurance, surely it’s nice that you’ll be able to help members of a poor family who are not able to afford healthcare? The USA is one of the most wealthiest countries, why not share the wealth around a bit.

Many opponents of it just seem to not like Obama, and so criticise anything he does, and how it will be so bad for the country blah blah blah. Stop being so self-serving and recognise that it will help the country as a whole.

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Linds (71) (@linds) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

http://poorrichardsnews.com/post/64353197044/more-people-have-applied-for-a-one-way-ticket-to-mars

Obviously, @theskafish and I are not the only ones who think Obamacare is bunk.

I think it’s great to help my community and I do not live a materialistic life. I don’t care about things like that but as an American, I come from the “land of the free” I don’t want to be forced into something. It’s that simple. That’s what makes America different. That’s why people come here from all over the world. TO BE DIFFERENT. Why would I want a program that’s just going to make my country like every other country? O_o

I’m happy that works for your country and that you like it, but I don’t think they have the details ironed out just right yet to benefit MY country.

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@monkeyzazu, We need food to survive but that’s not free, we need shelter and cloths, again not free. A society is full of people and necessary things that people have to acquire are opportunities for work and to make a living for others.

I like the idea of having a standard market for needs, where the entire market is unified and the things required for basic survival are subsidized by everything else. So you have luxury items, or higher quality products increase in price so as to pay the people who provide the basic needs a fair wage for their time and effort.

But then the companies that provide non essential products and services complain that they are losing business due to the mark up in the price of what they provide. The thing is it wouldn’t change that much about society because people may find certain things more expensive but to compensate there would exist a range of things that are cheaper, even free.

It is not so much about creating a welfare state, I think people should have basic survival as a fundamental human right, but also society is obliged to provide the tools to its citizens that will make them productive. You cannot expect to leave dirt in the dirt and expect it to become something more on its own will, you have to add that water(education, etc.) turn it into clay and mould it to a useful form and set it.

Society should neither be a welfare state or an every man for himself state, every man for himself is an oxymoron when you place it in the same sentence as “society”. So there should be a line somewhere, a line that people deserve on one side and on the other they have to earn, deciding what belongs where is the ultimate question that conservatives and liberals are divided over.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

I mean, I never thought I’d find myself on the side of hardcore Republicans like the governors mentioned in the infographic. And yet, here I am. I mean, from where I stand, this just looks like insurance companies being greedy fucks again, always looking for ways to bleed regular folks dry, always looking to make sure people who are down stay down. If there’s a lot of me on this thread it’s cause it hits close to home. I’m sick of getting preyed upon by these bastards, and everyone else.

I’d feel better about all this if someone could explain though, how this won’t be one more nail in the coffin, how this won’t help to all but guarantee that I will be poor for the rest of my youth and the rest of my life, period. Paying an extra $1200 a year could have bought me courses at community college to get more qualifications and thus a better, higher paying job where I could actually buy insurance through work, could have helped me buy a more fuel-efficient car faster (I live in a big suburb where things are not close and public transit is only good if you are going to the actual city, it’s pretty shitty for anything else), could help me buy better quality food so I don’t have to eat food full of salt and carcinogens. An extra $1200 a year could also help me save up enough to move out of my parents’ house and on with my life. Because of this, if I don’t find employer offered insurance I must continue to live here, or I suppose I could live in my car but I’m a non-criminal college graduate and Im going to be living in a car, what the fuck is that?!?! If you can’t get a full time job, this is punishment for existing. I mean, with this new expense on top of everything else, people in the working poor won’t be able to afford to see a doctor anyway so I don’t get it?

So if anyone can tell me how a person making barely anything at all can actually start saving money, or looking for new skills, or start building a life even with this extra expense, I’m all ears. In my last “real” job, I made $28K a year working 40 hrs a week. That’s less than a grand every 2 weeks. The only, only, only reason I was able to save money at all was because I lived at home rent-free. If I didn’t, I would have been completely and utterly fucked. This is what I’m getting at.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@ijesuschrist, i’d love to stop being angry and depressed but first I need a light at the end of the tunnel that, you know, isn’t just death. I need to know there’s a way out of this, something I can move towards so I know that it’s not just hopeless.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@linds, haha. I guess it’s time to do like Arnold and get my ass to Mars. Maybe at least there I won’t get nickel and dimed into the ground.

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JonH (1,139)C (@IJesusChrist) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@theskafish, You couldn’t make a more depressed character on a cartoon than you. Everything you say is a cliché. You’re like the fucking robot on Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy.

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Anonymous (134) (@) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@theskafish, it’s not an “extra” $1200 if it hasn’t been saved in the first place. You keep talking about what you could do like community college courses etc but seriously, why the fuck haven’t you done it already, then? The $1200 hasn’t kicked in yet. You have time. You never used the time, nor the money, before this tax is implemented in the ways you lust over so there no point bitching and moaning about what you could have done in the future with those resources.
You don’t need a cellphone. You don’t need a $30 monthly cell bill. Do it on prepay or something and I’m sure you can get a plan that costs <$15 a month. Less even. You don’t need to pay for internet. Public Libraries have this shit accessible to you throughout the day usually at no cost whatsoever. Pick one or the other, cellphone or internet – you don’t need both. You don’t need a car. You’ve got feet, you’ve got a bike, you’ve got public transport. You can get from A to B you just need to plan your day. Essentially, that’s the thing. Planning. We spend too much grocery shopping because we don’t have a definitive list as to what we need. We don’t plan our weekly meals so a lot of the contents of our cupboards are getting old/unuseable because we haven’t planned a way to use them. Bulk buying and farmers markets are your friends. We pay for and maintain a car because we aren’t waking up 30 minutes earlier to be able to account for public transport transit times.


@monkeyzazu
universal healthcare is preventative in a way. If you don’t have insurance, you don’t go to the doctors because it costs too much. Whatever is the issue escalates until you’re forced to be in a hospital on the brink of life and death with a $80 000 bill because you couldn’t afford to go to the $80 doctor appointment when your pneumonia was just a cough.

For the record @ijesuschrist your arm and leg call was a good one.

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stryder (845) (@stryder) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@linds, are you proud to live in a country where poor people are not able to afford the healthcare they require.

It is a basic human component to want to help people, especially those in need, but many people seem to think: fuck them, as long as I’m OK I don’t give a damn. Which is a big shame.

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Linds (71) (@linds) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@stryder never said I was proud

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@francina, “You don’t need a cellphone. You don’t need a $30 monthly cell bill. Do it on prepay or something and I’m sure you can get a plan that costs <$15 a month."

I already do this. I've already gotten rid of my old phone and switched to a prepaid phone. I essentially communicate entirely by Internet now anyway.

I have not gone back to school because I want to take time to make a choice that’s right for me, instead of spending more money and more time on something I don’t even like, which is only going to take me further away from my dreams. I’ve done this twice now already.

The whole car thing, I'm planning to sell my not-so-fuel efficient fun car and get a fuel efficient beater as soon as possible. I hardly drive it anyway so there's no point in having it anymore. But where I live, things are spaced so far apart that you do in fact need a car. The suburbs are planned on the assumption that adults have cars. The only public transportation worth a damn around here is the Metra train line which goes to Chicago. Other than that, you do need a car otherwise you will be spending all of your free time walking and biking everywhere. It's not just 30 minutes, it would be all day. And even if it was, that's 30 extra minutes to do something that actually enriches my life, makes my life worth living. And having no Internet? I’m sorry but no, just no. I'm not lowering my standard of living so painfully frugal that life has no enjoyment anymore. I want to be on the Internet later than the library is open, in my own home, with my things. I'm not whining that because of Obamacare I won't be able to afford a McMansion and a brand-new Lambo….I'm saying because of this, I and lots of people just like me may never know a better life than living paycheck to paycheck, existing just to pay bills – seriously what the fuck? What kind of life is that, especially if you haven’t done anything wrong like crime or wasting away on hard drugs? That's exactly what I went to school for, to avoid that fate. After being told all our lives "oh just do this and everything will be okay. Just make it through high school without doing anything stupid. Just tough it out through college and everything will be fine. Just wait your turn and you too will get your way someday. It's hard now but it gets better later." Now I come to find out, later actually means never. That's why I'm so angry.

How in the hell am I supposed to be expected to care for others when I can’t even take care of myself? How am I expected to give to others when I don’t even have enough for myself? Am I supposed to just lower my expectations down to living in a dingy apartment with no Internet and the lights off and no dreams beyond a 40 oz a day? It should not be this hard to just be normal. I’m not even talking about anything special. Just a normal life.

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Adam (118) (@moonglade) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@linds, Land of the free? I don’t want to be forced into something? Are you not already forced to pay your current taxes. Like I said this is nothing different it’s just another tax. All this really boils down to is that americans, the ones against mandatory healthcare, think taxes=bad which is completely untrue. Having healthcare is definatly essential, if your government can’t atleast keep you healthy then what use is it anyway.


@theskafish
, Trust me this will not be the end of the world for you. It’s proven to work in so many countries. You’re blowing this tax completely out of proportion you think this whole thing is gonna leave you destitute when it won’t. How is it that I live in a country that pays way more taxes than yours yet has a lot less poverty than yours. Stop looking at things in the short term and see how this will improve your country

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@moonglade, I don’t know man. I mean, I guess there’s really no point in complaining because clearly it’s going to happen anyway and I have no influence over it. But I’ve done without all my life, with the exception of a few things here and there – if I am middle class at all I am surely on the lower end. I mean, I’ve never starved but probably haven’t eaten the healthiest food available. I live in a crowded, falling apart old house. I’m typing this on a ten year old computer which wasn’t even good when it was new, and the Internet around here sucks. I’ve never had money to just burn, and I went to college under the pretense that things would get better if I just toughed it out. I’m just really fucking sick of being poor, of feeling like prey, I can’t stand the thought of going the rest of my life like this.

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Linds (71) (@linds) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

Basically what I’m seeing here is that since I like to work hard, earn my own money, pay my taxes and bills with no problems and take care of myself by growing my own foods, getting what I can’t grow from local farmers and exercising that I get to pay for someone else’s healthcare since they can’t even work up a sweat while standing in line for their free phone and free food. Got it.

Here’s my opinion: I don’t want to pay for shitty healthcare for myself when what I’ve got is great. If the government wants to take more out of my taxes so that they can provide shitty healthcare to those who cannot afford healthcare like I have then fine.. Go for it. But I want the option to choose between the government healthcare and the healthcare I have now. That is what this entire topic was about “why is health insurance becoming mandatory” … it shouldn’t be mandatory.. If you want the government healthcare, great go and get it! If you don’t think you need it, fantastic! We should have an option. It is OUR health, after all.

What is the government doing to promote preventive care? They don’t give a shit. If they did, Obama wouldn’t have signed the bill to protect Monsanto. If you think the government cares about you, you’re delusional.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@linds, “What is the government doing to promote preventive care? They don’t give a shit. If they did, Obama wouldn’t have signed the bill to protect Monsanto. If you think the government cares about you, you’re delusional. ”

Totally. If the government really cares about people’s health, why protect Monsanto? Why do cigarettes still exist? Why is there a McDonald’s on every corner? They care enough about people to shake them down for money, but not enough to get rid of actual contributors to the problem. We’d have a lot less problems with public health if we got rid of all these sources of disease. But preventative care is written off in favor of just assuming everyone will get sick. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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MonkeyZazu (1,865)M (@monkeyzazu) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

Something I’m not really understanding is why everyone keeps referring to this as a “universal” health insurance? It’s not becoming mandatory that I pay a bill that will help “everyone” with their expenses. The government is making it mandatory that I help “myself” with my “own” expenses, ya kno? Maybe I’m not seeing something. How does me paying for my “individual” health insurance help out everyone?

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Cody (472) (@versai) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

I don’t have time to read all the replies but I agree with the OP, insurance in general is kinda bullshit. I didn’t even renew the insurance on my car this year because… fuck that. I’ll drive illegally and safely.

I’ve never been to the hospital and I’ve never been prescribed medication for an illness. Besides having my wisdom teeth removed, I don’t think I’ve ever had a serious medical procedure. I’m still on my parent’s health insurance which they get through their employment so it’s not really a big deal for me. But once that runs out I probably won’t pay for my own health insurance for a very long time.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@versai, “But once that runs out I probably won’t pay for my own health insurance for a very long time.”

The problem is, you’ll be forced to – the motherfuckers will just garnish your wages aka rob you at gunpoint. There’s no way out. They’ll take it out of your check, AND add a fine on to it. And if you refuse to pay again next year, they will increase the fine even more.

I myself was planning to just rely on luck until I was making enough money to buy insurance without having to live like garbage to afford it. I mean, if you aren’t making a lot of money, even with insurance you can’t go to the doctor anyway. People who couldn’t go to the doctor before now really won’t be able to go.

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Linds (71) (@linds) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

@monkeyzazu http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsVqOe07cdY this breaks it down. If it were just us paying our own way then things would be like they are now… There is no point for it to be mandatory unless it goes to aid those who can’t afford it. Unless they have everyone paying in, they can’t afford to provide healthcare for those who can’t afford it.

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Joseph (114) (@warriors41) 8 years, 3 months ago ago

To me money is just numbers that have been assigned a value. It doesn’t mean anything. All that matters is everyone who needs serious help can get it easier. If numbers didn’t matter, then everyone would help each other through their own will. “I want to help you therefore you will receive my help”. Instead of the society where numbers are so important that: “I want to help you, however you don’t earn enough numbers and I am unable to grant you help”. If everyone contributes to the pot and the wealth is distributed fairly among those in need and those who don’t need, then everyone will benefit as a whole. The numbers won’t matter anymore. This is the kind of relationship humans need to have with each other. We are all one, we can all help each other out.
I know this is oversimplifying it, but that’s the way I see it. Trust me, when the landscape is set a certain way, things will just somehow balance out and flow. It won’t if you never set the landscape.

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