Social Question

chelle21689's avatar

Should health insurance stay mandatory?

Asked by chelle21689 (7377points) December 7th, 2015 from iPhone

Why or why not? Please explain your reasoning. I’m not too familiar with this. All I can say is, I don’t think it’s right to require everyone have insurance. My job doesn’t give me benefits and I make too much for assistance so I don’t benefit from it. I would be paying over $200/month in insurance which I think is a rip off.

Someone enlighten me.

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46 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Meaning that you prefer to have no insurance? Your job doesn’t offer you insurance coverage, and you have no other source? $200 wouldn’t buy you a single trip to the emergency room or a doctor visit plus prescription. What will you do if you get sick or you’re in an accident?

jerv's avatar

How much would you cost taxpayers if you were uninsured? Now multiply that by the population of the US.

The traditional counter is, “I’ll pay out of pocket like I always have!”, or ,“But I’m healthy!”. Basically, people not seeing how it could ever be relevant to them.

When I had my car accident, the ER alone was over $14k. The ambulance and ER doctor were not included; that cost more. Same with radiology for the X-rays and MRI they tend to give people who aren’t lucid enough to even know if they hit their head. And the follow-up doctors. And a few months of physical therapy. And the medication.

Even getting older tends to cause problems that get expensive fast.

So tell me, @chelle21689, is your entire life planned down to the exact detail? Is that plan accurate? Can you look any of us in the eye and swear upon everything that you hold dear/sacred that you will NEVER, EVER get sick, injured, or old?

JLeslie's avatar

I think everyone should have to pay taxes that feed into a socialized healthcare system, but since we don’t have that—no, I don’t think you should have to buy insurance. But, if you don’t buy insurance I think you should have to pay for your medical care. God forbid you have some sort of major illness or accident.

$200 isn’t that bad actually. Is there anything cheaper with a higher deductible? I always tell people, especially young people, to just get the cheapest so they are covered for catastrophic events. You will wind up paying $200 for an appointment and drugs if you get sick with some run of the mill thing, but in the end you usually wind up ahead.

A lot of doctor, lab, and hospital fees are inflated when they go through insurance, so it sounds higher than it would be if you pay out of pocket, but still a bad illness or injury can add up fast.

chyna's avatar

How much does your annual exam cost? How much do your birth control pills cost (if you take them)? What about the dentist? Twice a year and x-rays once a year are probably close to 500.00. How about your eyes? Do you wear contacts or glasses?
If you are skipping any of these things because you can’t afford them, you need insurance because these few basic visits each year is important to your health. And your 200.00 a month would be less than what it would cost for all of these visits. Add on to that any accident or catastrophic illness would wipe you out financially.

zenvelo's avatar

I think @chelle21689 you should be exempt, but you always have to pay cash upfront if you ever want medical assistance for the rest of your life.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. But GREAT measures need to be taken to control medical and pharmaceutical costs, subsequent insurance supercharging, otherwise it will be dead soon. It will only work, IMHO, with socialization or overall government control.
And you need insurance now. Everyone being in the mix is what makes it all work for everyone, everywhere. (Theoretically at least.) After all, it’s not just about you.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Dental care is not included in health insurance. Sometimes eye check isn’t either, definitely not glasses I don’t think.

chyna's avatar

On my plan eye exams are an extra 2.50 a pay period (twice a month) and dentist is an extra 1.85. This covers glasses once every two years.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Good deal. It’s still extra though. Do you use the same medical card for everything? Is it “Obamacare” or something through work?

chyna's avatar

It’s through work.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Yes. For as long as medical care costs money, health insurance should be mandatory. There is no way that people can “opt out” of medical care over their lifetime.

Jeruba's avatar

My son had no insurance: he wasn’t working, wasn’t in school, and at 26 he aged out of coverage under my employer (and when he was working, they didn’t offer coverage). He was young, healthy, and strong, and thought he’d be fine.

One day he got a small cut on his thumb while doing some hobby work. It got infected, swelled up, and became excruciatingly painful. He had to go to an urgent care clinic, where they treated it and prescribed antibiotics. I suppose you can guess who ended up paying for this, out of pocket.

When Obamacare came along, he signed up on the first day.

Forcing other people to assume your responsibilities for you is just not right once you’re past childhood. That’s what you’re doing when you refuse coverage.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba How much was the treatment? A few hundred? At $200 a month, $2400 a year, he probably was ahead financially without paying for health coverage. I realize if something worse happened to him, God forbid, he easily could be behind the 8 ball, but I doubt a simple infection cured by one course of antibiotics cost more than $400 for the doc cost and drugs. Did it?

Jeruba's avatar

No, the whole thing came out to about $180. But he was ahead financially in any case because I paid for it, even though I’d already taken the necessary steps to provide for myself. He also had many thousands of dollars’ worth of inpatient treatments for other things. If I had paid $200 a month for coverage for him, I would have been way ahead financially.

In fact, I tried to purchase insurance for him, but he declined to cooperate with the process and left me holding the bag.

jaytkay's avatar

The rational thing to do is give everyone health care paid out of taxes. That’s what every first world country does. It’s cheaper and better.

US government (not including private) health care spending per person is higher than any other developed nation and we cover fewer people.

US total health care spending, government plus private, is TWICE what other nations spend per person. We cover fewer people and the results are worse.

We spend too little on actual health care in the US and way to much on parasitic tangential costs like administrating the ridiculous insurance plans and guaranteeing inflated prices for drug companies.

Cruiser's avatar

No hell no! Case in point…a youngish, visibly healthy and vibrant 20ish salesman called upon me and long story short in the wake of Obamacare he related how grateful he was to be able to dodge the bullet of mandatory enrollment while he struggled to pay off his college loans. Had he then been forced to then buy health insurance, that in his free mind did not need at his otherwise very healthy position in life, he would otherwise be forced into debt till his late 40’s. So many intelligent people elect to not pay for health insurance because they know they do not need it and can put said moneys to better use. Not a difficult concept to grasp unless you are the Federal Government.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba I understood you paid for it. :). I was just talking about the numbers alone. Multiple medical costs add up, but for many young people they don’t use all the money they put into insurance within a calendar year. I didn’t for years.

It’s why I’m in favor of socialized medicine.

jaytkay's avatar

because they know they do not need it

They predict the future? Amazing!

Rarebear's avatar

Of course it does.

Jeruba's avatar

@Rarebear, not sure which post you’re responding to.

stanleybmanly's avatar

For the scheme to work, young healthy people MUST participate. Otherwise, premiums would be extremely high. The Insurance industry which cooked up the scheme to deflect universal health care and assure their continued profitability, inserts itself between everyone and their doctor, useless parasites, fattening up at the expense of us all.

jerv's avatar

@Cruiser ”. So many intelligent people elect to not pay for health insurance because they know they do not need it and can put said moneys to better use.”

~I’ll remember that next time I wind up in the ER. I’m sure that that ~$30/week I wasted on disability insurance would’ve accumulated enough to pay my rent for the time I was medically unable to work too.

JLeslie's avatar

I have a question. Under ACA does a 27 year old pay the same as a 47 year old? Is it just based on income?

@chelle21689 In all seriousness, get the insurance. Wasn’t it you who fairly recently went through some cardiac tests? Or, was it a different young Jelly? That shows you that surprise health problems and concerns pop up. Does the insurance cover out of network doctors? That’s always a concern of mine, because I’ve been sick and paid thousands out of network in the past.

Never do an FSA account if they still offer them, but the HSA accounts I think are good.

Seek's avatar

The ACA is just a tax program that subsidizes the purchase of private insurance. Mine is through Blue Cross Blue Shield. The amount of the subsidy is based on income, and there’s a website to choose plans that you qualify for.

If your subsidy is less than the plan premium, the customer makes up the difference.

We are subsidized $500/mo. And pay in $40/mo. Our plan covers prescriptions with a lower copay and primary care and convenient care (like CVs minute clinic) for almost nothing, but has a higher copay for urgent care and ER visits.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek When my husband looked into ACA for us when he was laid off we went with more expensive cobra (much more, $300 a month more) because with ACA I had to start my deductible all over again for the year. This is one of my bigger gripes about our system, is since it’s all private insurers, whatever you pay in today, means nothing for tomorrow. It’s still all separated. If you don’t use medical care this year, and decide to drop out of the insurance system again, and then get sick, you get penalized like you never paid in a penny.

Seek's avatar

Yup. That’s why socialized health care needs to happen.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It is actually an open and shut case of criminal irresponsibility that socialized medicine is not the law of the land. The needless sickness, suffering and loathsome expenses along with the wasteful inefficiency—all of it to enable a parasitic industry to turn a profit.

Cruiser's avatar

@jerv My point was that not everyone wants or needs health insurance. These are grown mature people like you who can best decided what their medical needs are. The last time I saw a stat it said that 31 million Americans do not have health insurance, not because they can’t afford it, they just don’t feel they need it.

Seek's avatar

No one is qualified to determine that they will never have need of medical services, because psychics are not real.

Accidents happen. Illnesses happen. Organs fail. Aneurysms burst. Cuts get infected. Mosquitoes carry diseases. People get food poisoning. Shit happens.

stanleybmanly's avatar

And the fact remains that millions of us are STILL underinsured, on the verge of bankruptcy for uncovered medical expenses, or hovering on the brink of economic catastrophe due to crippling premiums. The situation is morally indefensible.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Cruiser You’re right about the volume of people who choose not to have health insurance. In fact when you get right down to it, no one in their right mind would actually CHOOSE health insurance over guaranteed health care. People don’t NEED health insurance. People NEED health care. And the most efficient, fair and sensible method is just to exist in a situation where EVERYONE’S COVERED, whether they need it or not. Just the thought of life without the all consuming urgency and rigamarole involved with our nightmare health insurance regime more than justifies government funded single payer health care.

Dutchess_III's avatar

$200 a month for insurance sounds extremely reasonable to me. You’re crazy if you can get insurance but just don’t want to.

I came down with pneumonia. Emergency surgery, two week hospital stay and it cost over a quarter of a million dollars. Thanks to insurance my out of pocket was only $1,900. Anyone can get very sick. Anyone can have a catastrophic accident.

Get insurance.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III As much as I agree the OP should buy the insurance, your bill wasn’t really that high.

It’s a racket. They inflate the price, but that amount is never paid. They inflate it because of insurance. Many reasons regarding insurance, but it mostly makes you really believe you sure as he’ll better still be buying insurance. Makes us all grateful for insurance right? Keep paying the insurance premiums.

My hospital bill was $30kish after my accident, I paid less than $3k. I had a deductible, a good $2500 was 100% of what I owed not 80/20 or something similar. If I had zero insurance the bill probably would have been around the same $5k. Oh, but since it wound up as a lawsuit (I won’t tell that whole story) the standard is to get the “billed” amount, the higher number, in a lawsuit. So, my medical expenses were over $30k for the suit, even though I never paid that much, and the hospital never maid that much, but you get that much and then the lawyer takes about 40%. Nice right?

Unfortunately, it’s the system we have now, and I would not be without insurance, but I’m hoping the system implodes on itself and people get fed up. If a huge part of the population stopped buying it, it would finally crumble. Stop buying in protest to fees. We know they make a fortune and most other countries provide health are cheaper.

tinyfaery's avatar

Can we pick and choose what our taxes go to? I will openly pay taxes for people to get affordable health care, but I’m loathe to pay taxes used to pay hospitals and insurance companies that lose money when they treat the uninsured. While were at it, I do not want my taxes to fund wars, religious education or any of our oligarchs.

Bernie Sanders will fight for universal health care. Go Bernie!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie, I understand what you’re saying, and I already knew it was inflated. If I hadn’t had insurance it would have been lower, say half of what it was. What difference would having to pay $250,000 vs “only” $125,000 been to me?
Whatever the numbers, whatever the game, there is no way I could have afforded the final bill.

ragingloli's avatar

Sometimes I feel cynical and think that those that refuse (not are unable to) to get health insurance, should be denied any and all care if they can not afford to pay for it up front.

Mariah's avatar

Everyone’s healthy and doesn’t need insurance until suddenly they’re not and they do.

The system doesn’t work without everybody’s contributions.

Coloma's avatar

Well, another little factoid here. Over half of all people that file bankruptcy due to medical bills are also insured! Insurance often, doesn’t cover everything in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury.

jerv's avatar

@Cruiser Yeah, but how many of those people planned on things like this?

jerv's avatar

@Coloma Very true. Even when they do, you have to have a little money stashed away for while waiting for them to pay up. By “a little” I mean at least a hundred grand or so. Those who don’t wind up falling behind on things like rent, putting whole families out in the street. Those rich enough to handle six-figure medical bills with pocket change might be better off, but the other 99.8% of us spend too much just eating and living indoors to have the luxury of such a self-made safety net. (Then again, many who can afford it inherited the money then claimed to be self-made, but I digress.)

But hey, at least they managed to put enough of those insurance premiums together to get the 10-speaker sound system in their ‘vette instead of the crappy 6-speaker system, right?

Coloma's avatar

@jerv Haha, very true.

Coloma's avatar

Reminds me of the story a few years ago of an englsih guy that was told he had a terminal illness and spent his life savings, went on a round the world cruise, etc. only to later find out doctors made a mistake and he wasn’t going to die in like 6 months. He had no recourse whatsoever. Great, I’m going to live, but be penniless. lol

zenvelo's avatar

@ragingloli We agree on something!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jerv Holy crap! Is that your car?

ragingloli's avatar

the link does not work

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III Was. Best car I ever had too. Only $300, ran like a champ, lasted me four years.
Hey, didn’t you say that when I reposted them on FB 2½ years after the accident?
(Checks comment history….)
Yep, it was; you’ve seen that pic before.
I never stuttered in my life before that accident either, but I often do now, and it started not long after impact.

@ragingloli Odd. Then again, some browsers just hate Facebook. Try this one

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