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

MonkeyZazu (@monkeyzazu) 8 years, 1 month 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
james (20) (@jamesjohnson) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@moonglade, Do you even think about what you are saying?

Universal Healthcare is not some blanket system that will magically just fix everything.

Why does it work in other countries? Because they have implemented it well!!!!

The way the administration puts it, if you don’t support THEIR universal healthcare, then you are an elitist, a bigot, the 1% blah blah blah.

Well guess what? I don’t support it because it doesn’t do anything to fix the inherent problems within the US healthcare system.

The REAL problem is that the Affordable Care Act doesn’t address any of the issues that make our healthcare system terrible – rampant fraud among insurance companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and doctors. They all keep medical costs high because they give each other kickbacks to keep it that way. Why do you think the US has the highest healthcare costs in the world and some of the worst health in the world?

It is because the system is broken. And instead of fixing it – we just spread the payments around to more people. That sounds like a FANTASTIC solution to me….

And as I said earlier, this Affordable Care Act does not incentivize anyone to be healthier so I find it very hard to believe that it will improve health in this nation. No, it will just drag down healthy consumers with another tax while not even coming close to targeting the real problems with our healthcare system

/rant

Please tell me how I am wrong. Because you can’t.

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Josh W (19) (@mightywelsh) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@moonglade, As far as I understand this whole thing..the only TAXES that will be implemented that will effect average citizens (excluding business owners) will be the “penalty” I will be forced to be under the individual mandate. I have no problem with the idea of taxation. I have no problem with the idea of universal health care. I have a major problem with being told that I must enter into a private contract with a large corporation to purchase services from them that I don’t want.
I accept my mortality, and (as a foolish, healthy, young person) the risk of being hurt/sick to a level outside of my ability to fix.
I’m sure, if I should live long enough, I’ll reach a point where it seems wise to me to invest monthly into potential treatment for potential ilnesses. However, for now, I cannot justify or afford that investment and so I will refuse to make it and as a consequence I will be taxed annually at an exponential rate until it is outside of my means to pay my taxes…..at which point I’m fucked anyway.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@mightywelsh, “I have a major problem with being told that I must enter into a private contract with a large corporation to purchase services from them that I don’t want.”

Bingo. The fact that this whole thing is NOT a government service AND is punitive in nature should be a major red flag.

If Obama really wanted to make sure everyone could get health insurance, he should just make a law making it illegal for the companies to deny coverage to anyone, AND raising people’s wages enough that they could actually afford this new expense. The fact that he’s forcing us all to accept a new bill without providing any assistance in paying it shows what this is really about. The whole reason so many people are uninsured is cause they couldn’t afford it before…what makes Obama think they’ll be able to afford it now? He’s either corrupt, or incredibly stupid.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

just did the cost calculator…..the cheapest possible plan for me is $124.84, monthly. Tell me, how am I supposed to do the right thing and make responsible food choices when I have to pay this shit? Guess what Obama, healthy food is expensive you dumb fuck. How am I and millions of others like me supposed to go out and buy anything and help kickstart the economy? Here’s some Econ 101: when people have no money to buy things, there is no DEMAND for them, and when there’s no DEMAND, there’s no JOBS for people to do. How am I supposed to move out on my own and start life, cause guess what, I’ve done my part so I refuse to live in a fucking drug disease and crime infested ghetto. Over 3 times what my cellphone bill was, before I quit it. Guess I won’t be moving out of my parents’ house or on with my life…..ever. And I never took it seriously when people used to say Obama would re-introduce slavery. Fuck this bullshit. Obama can shove his “care” up his ass.

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James (121) (@alljuicedup) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

Forget everything else and just look at the foundation of the system and you see the obvious issue.

You can’t have a mandatory system while keeping healthcare for profit. At their core, the two concepts don’t mix, period. Every other issue builds on this fundamental truth.

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Josh W (19) (@mightywelsh) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

Yuuup. The term “affordable health care” is thrown around because that really is the issue (even though it seems that obamacare does nothing to solve it). The cost of living has continued to rise while minimum wage stays the same. Part of that cost of living is medical costs which I would argue have been driven to an absurd level because of privatized insurance companies. I have never had health insurance and the cost of a check-up (which costs medical facilities virtually nothing to perform) has risen from $60 to $150 in the brief 5 years I’ve been handling my own medical expenses…I realize this is a small period of time to draw data from…and I have no idea if this reflects the rise in cost on a national level but in the specific local market I buy medicine in, I’ve only ever seen exponential rise in cost on services that were, in my opinion, overpriced to begin with.

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

@tangledupinplaid21,

I don’t mean to offend you, but you’re the perfect example of why this act is so messed up. The people who can’t afford health insurance or the ones who don’t want/need it aren’t benefiting from this. It’s either your too poor to afford this in which your still going to have high medical bills, or the government deems that you can afford it and penalizes you if you don’t pay up.

How can they say we can afford something solely based on our yearly income? That’s not enough information to come to a conclusion like that. Most of it could go to living expenses, in which how do we afford something mandatory like this? Do they really think not penalizing someone compensates for them not benefiting from this act? They’re still not getting help with their medical bills, so there’s really no point to this act.

And its not that we don’t want to support and help others who needs it, it’s just that this act doesn’t allow us too. They’re making it mandatory that if you “can” help yourself, you “will” help yourself by getting health insurance or pay a penalty.

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Nick Robare (11) (@journeytoparadise) 8 years ago ago

1. Every human being deserves health coverage. It is pathetic not everyone was covered in the past.
2. The countries with the best health care in the world all have universal coverage, it would be foolish to not follow suit.
3. I don’t believe this is going to cost the average American a significant amount more in the long-haul. A small increase in the price paid is worth it to know that oneself, loved ones, and fellow human beings are covered.
4. If you are complaining about having to pay “extra money” or for health insurance at all, get a grip on reality and realize there are people living who go to bed starving or sick every single night. You are being extremely ungrateful. We are lucky to even be having this discussion in the first place.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years ago ago

@journeytoparadise,

1.) Sure
2.) Yes, but the way it’s being implemented here is totally not the same as what’s going on in other countries. In other countries, it’s a government-provided service. In America, you are simply forced to buy coverage from health insurance companies. The government isn’t providing us anything, except a kick in the balls if we refuse to pay this rediculous bill. This is not the same.
3.) Yes it will. If you don’t think this new monthly bill is expensive, you have obviously never worked for minimum or an otherwise low wage before, or you have worked for low wages but you come from money so it didn’t really matter, or you don’t come from money and don’t mind living badly. If the last one is the case, keep in mind not everyone is okay with this.

Let me put it into perspective for you: this new health care bill would equal:
-buying about 3 extra tanks of gas per month, OR
-paying one and a half additional cell phone bills every month, OR
-buying almost 2 extra weeks of groceries every month.

don’t tell me this isn’t a significant expense. this new law is one big “fuck you” to all low-wage people, the door to the middle class is essentially being slammed in their face and locked. the thing is, if you don’t make a lot of money, you are going to have high medical bills anyway because you can only afford the cheapest possible deductible. or you can’t even afford this anyway. being forced to pay yet another monthly bill isn’t going to solve anything.

4.) No. Living just to pay bills is a bullshit existence, it’s essentially slavery. It can hardly be considered life at all. You can’t say something is good just because other things are worse. That doesn’t really make sense.

Suppose you earn less than $1,000 on a full-time, bi-weekly paycheck. You tell me how you’re going to make it through the month, save money, and raise yourself out of that, without living like complete garbage. It’s not mathematically possible. Even without this bill you’d be saving money and such an incredibly slow rate, it would take multiple lifetimes to save enough to live normally, let alone well.

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Nick Robare (11) (@journeytoparadise) 8 years ago ago

@theskafish, Who wouldn’t want health insurance? For anyone who feels as if this is stepping on their rights, go somewhere where you aren’t mandated to have coverage. And when something goes wrong with your health, don’t complain when you have to pay every expense out of pocket.

And you speak as if they is a fixed fee for everyone. It depends on your income, age, and family size and you still have choices about which plan to go with.

I’m in my junior year of school, and get my health insurance through them by the way.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years ago ago

@journeytoparadise, as I said, if you aren’t rich or buying benefits through an employer, you pretty much have to rely on luck anyway because your bills, should you get sick, will still be stratospheric. The problem is not people refusing to buy health insurance – the problem is most people don’t make enough money to afford it and, you know, live somewhere that is actually safe and nice. As for me, I planned to do without it until I got a job where I could buy benefits through them, or until I made enough money that I could afford this. Again, the reason people don’t buy it is that buying health insurance yourself is really expensive. Forcing people to buy it does not solve the problem, since it does not change the price.

Again – I have done the cost estimator for me. The cheapest possible plan is still going to be a huge fucking burden. It WILL put a serious dent in my ability to save, and if I don’t get a benefitted job, leaving home will be mathematically impossible unless I want to live in my car. And I sure as hell didn’t do as I was told all my life for that. And yes, I am college-educated, I have a not-fun, real-world degree as well. I’m not living like crap. I’m not demanding a house and a Lambo but I have done at least as much that I shouldn’t have to live in a ghetto.

I am 27 and live in the real world, I don’t have rich parents or a trust fund I can hide behind to pay for everything. I can’t afford this shit AND move on with my life at the same time. Hence, I’m against anything that increases my living expenses. I’m already working on reducing them as much as possible and am already a health-conscious person.

If you can enlighten us on how to make it through a month on only $2K without breaking the law, let alone save money or have anything that resembles a normal life, we’re all ears.

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Alex (141)M (@alexishungry) 8 years ago ago

Not trying to get sucked into this entire argument, but just a small comment directed at those who are supporting Obamacare:

The argument I keep seeing come up from your side is along the lines of “You should help your fellow human beings. We should pay for everyone else to get healthcare. I feel great knowing that I’m helping those who need it.”

If you feel that way, donate. The idea of financial freedom and liberty is so much better than the idea that people should pay for something just because you feel that they SHOULD. All this is is forced charity, and the government forcing you to buy a product.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years ago ago

@alexishungry, it’s indeed forced charity – to the health insurance industry. It’s crucial to understanding this thing, to know where our money is going. It’s only going to the government if you are paying the fine. If not, you’re paying the health insurance companies, who probably thought of this whole thing in the first place cause they’re about to make windfall profits here, using government muscle to enforce it. What better way to make money than to become so wealthy that you can buy the very law, that you can use the government to FORCE people to buy your product? What if it wasn’t health care, what if it was something else? What if some industry decided that you were forced to buy $100+ dollars of product or service from them every month, whether you wanted to or not, whether you could actually afford it or not? Suppose the oil industry bought government influence, and a law came out saying you HAVE to buy $100+ worth of gas every month, or the cell phone industry made cell phones mandatory, and thus contracts. Don’t have/want a car? Don’t have/want a phone? Well, you now have to pay a fine. What then? I don’t see how the pro-Obamacare crowd doesn’t see that this isn’t a favor – this is blatant corporate corruption. This is big business buying the law.

It’s not really charity for other humans, either. It’s not like other countries where healthcare is free and available and we are paying higher taxes for it. This is, as others have said: a bill paid to private-sector, for-profit companies, not a tax to the government. Everyone is still on their own. We’re just forced to buy it now. Obamacare is NOT a government-provided service and is certainly NOT a handout.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years ago ago

@tangledupinplaid21, just saw how old you said you were. You’re 24, so you could still be on your parents’ policy (unlike me, who is 27 and thus will be completely and utterly fucked unless I can get a benefitted job by March 31). I believe kids can be on their parents policy until the end of their 26th year.

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

@monkeyzazu, Because people who need vital health services cannot be turned away, even if they have no health insurance, so it is obvious that people will not buy health insurance if they get the service anyway, and that would mean taxes have to pay for all these services.

On one hand it sucks that people who cannot afford it have to pay, there should at least be some kind of subsidisation mechanism or means test to assist, but it also sucks that people who can afford health insurance don’t get it and milk the system for a tax funded service.

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

But I agree with a lot of comments here; healthy living reduces your chances of needing vital health services, but healthy living is a very expensive lifestyle, a lucrative market. It would make sense fiscally, to the system, if healthy living becomes more accessible across the board.

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

The thing is; under the current system we have a Free Market based economy, that mean the price of goods and services fall under independent competition based and supply/demand measures. You would think society would at some point coordinate with each other, increasing the cost of unhealthy or unsustainable goods and services and subsidise the healthy and sustainable alternatives.

But there are a lot of fears about this kind of responsible order; the strength of economies are dependant on the bad shit just as much as it is on the good shit, if we send these crappy industries into decline, the economies may go belly up.

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

Basically, this is not just something that happened over night, this is cumulative for decades, maybe longer, the short cuts on social and environmental responsibility for the sake of Capitalistic agenda has been a constant over the last century. It is not a case of singling out Obama for this, he is quite stuck between a rock and a hard place because of a long, long line of corruption preceding him. Maybe he is just another one to add to the list, but certainly not the top of it.

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lifegamer (28) (@lifegamer) 8 years ago ago

@monkeyzazu, Let’s take a look at some interesting facts & thoughts:
*The AMA (American Medical Association) incorporated about 110 yrs. ago. The costs of their type of care is based on what the wealthiest people are able to provide. They do not ‘heal’ much of anything regarding human condition, rather their ‘way’ is more about symptom suppression & getting you to feel just a little better than you walked into their office…Creating ‘return customers’ is how this business has grown…and now, this venue of health care is highly intertwined with the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry. Our trusted local docs have become drug dealers…It is required that they meet sales quotas, & their hospital sponsorships depend on it, hanging their practices in jeopardy if they do not.
By all means, take a good look at the demise of condition of the U.S. human over this same 100 yrs.!

*The conglomeration of All U.S. insurance companies started about 30 yrs. ago…first going into partnered real estate dealings, then enmeshing their data bases of clientele. (Funny, but previous to this, they were hard-core competitive private businesses.) They so knew this time was coming…Actually, they paved the road to its becoming (literally).

*All of these have extremely powerful lobbyists…Together, they get whatever they want, whenever they want…an epitome of Inglorious genius! While the general public is scrambling for a dollar, the magnates of these industries could well afford to pay for the entire country’s health-care principle without a flinch.

Sooo, to enter into a ‘mandated’ contract with this conglomeration/monopoly of health care peeps as a consumer, one would be saying that they fully support the likes of their ethics, their businesses, and will be fabulously feeding their continued growth. None hold any guarantee that you will be truly cared for toward wellness of anything.

It may also be wise to make a few notes here:
*Insurance contracts specialize in ‘fine print’ that is not worded for lay-people to understand, let alone for ‘normal’ people to even read without magnification.
*The AMA requires their professionals to ‘code’ everything they do…again, so no regular Joe could decipher their scribblings. And ever wonder why eyes & teeth have become separate entities of human bodies entirely?
*In 2005, these lovely folks combined to lobby for the passing of the law “Only a drug can cure a disease.” This was not sent through the regular channels of national law-making, btw…It was simply well paid for, and quickly shuffled thru the lines. The implications, however, is that this little-worded law put every other ‘way’ of healthcare available, which do not require insurance, nor use chemical drug therapy, on heavy-chained leashes. It also opened wide the door to making herbal supplements, home/farm growing of medicinals, as well as importing of such, capable of being made ‘illegal’ on their command.

*

Soooo, This is what WE will be supporting…This is what WE want??? idk, folks…The docs & nurses of this group that I know, & that still hold passion for their service, are not happy about any of this…Other healers of passion are not happy about any of this. Perhaps, they know something We, the People, do not?
btw…Veterinarians service our animals with much more ‘care’ without needed political BS.

Just sayin’…

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

@trek79,

This health care act thing isn’t a tax. Its a law requiring people to get health insurance if they can afford it. Your exempted if you can’t afford it and penalized if you can, but don’t get it. The act was passed in order to make sure everyone could get health insurance regardless of their circumstances so that they wouldn’t have high medical bills. This act defeats its own purpose because the people who can’t afford health insurance don’t have to get it and won’t be penalized, but will still have really high medical bills.

Are you saying that this becoming a tax would be bad? I’m a little lost in your reply. Other people from other countries have been saying how health care in their countries is a tax and how it helps everyone with their medical needs. I’m wondering why the U.S. didn’t make this into a tax like other countries.

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

@monkeyzazu, People always seem to be complaining about two things; taxes and the national debt, but the two are related, national debt skyrocketed in the U.S when Bush gave out tax breaks, especially to the higher/richer end of society.

So no one wants to pay more tax, hell people don’t even want to pay their fair share as some kind of patriotic duty. But rich people are simply taxed more because they still fall well over the standard for living, where as taxing poorer people drives them into poverty, if they aren’t there already.

But then rich people argue that when they have less money, they have less to invest in new business opportunities and so there are less jobs, etc. But jobs for the poor are not the real motive behind investment, never has been, GDP doesn’t only account for what is improving society but all the shitty things that are screwing up society are given a pass, because they contribute to GDP.

The fast food industry increases heart disease, obesity and diabetes, fast food is attractive as people find it pleasurable food (releasing endorphins akin to addiction) but it is also dirt cheap. But the medical industry doesn’t really do anything about this, apart from your doctor saying “Lay off the cheeseburgers Timmy” because it keeps business coming their way, it is not only their meal ticket but the meal ticket for the pharmaceuticals industry.

So you have this across the board dependency of shitty behaviour and no one has the balls to do anything about it because of how GDP will be effected.

But back to health insurance; I’d say it basically is a privatised tax, the average person will pay into it but may never need it, but because the insurance agencies are making money they will make sure people who do need it are covered, that is how tax is supposed to work, except in this case it is a privatised industry that is profiteering from it.

But it is a risk to the insurance industry also, if some huge event takes place, like natural disaster or terrorist attack, they are up to their eyeballs in claims. But I do hear a lot about insurance companies finding as many loopholes as they can to avoid paying claims, leaving people who have been paying high and dry.

But yes, Australia has universal health care, so does Canada I believe, where medical care is covered by taxes, it is only when you get into elective surgery that costs come. People who buy health insurance in Australia pretty much only get a better T.V in their room, they cant jump the queue on organ donation or anything like that.

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Liptons (12) (@liptons) 8 years ago ago

I don’t understand this mentality that being healthy is just a character trait some people have. Like somehow you’re exempt from disease because you’re in your 20’s.

Yes you will have to pay for health insurance. No it will not be as expensive as you make it seem. Yes it’s an added cost but it’s not just about you. The American value of the individual experience is a crippling thing. Do you know how many people with minimum wage incomes that are much older than 27 are going to be able to afford healthcare for the first time because you’re taking one for the team?

You said you have a degree, if you’re going to be up in arms about something make it about the extreme and rising cost of education in America. People can’t even afford upward mobility anymore. That’d be where most of our economic debacle begins.

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

@trek79,

Hmm. That really widen my perspective and am now rethinking things a little. I see pros and cons with Universal Health Care and with Obamacare. Seems like nothing completely helps everyone and no matter how things go someone is getting screwed regardless. I still feel like there’s still another option beyond these two options that I’m not seeing.

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

@monkeyzazu, There’s always another option, the people can say enough is enough and break the mould, work as a community rather than as an individual trying to get an advantage on everyone else.

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

@monkeyzazu, There are certain things I like; the idea of a unique individual and their beautiful identity, I also like culture, community and humanity, all the rest is kinda bullshit.

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