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proXXi's avatar

When mandatory federal healthcare is passed into law will you be removing your "Keep Your Laws Off My Body" bumpersticker?

Asked by proXXi (2906points) December 22nd, 2009

[Required edit] Would you see mandatory health insurance as conflicting with freedom of choice as to what to do with ones body?

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12 Answers

shilolo's avatar

I don’t have said sticker, but why are the two incongruous? The objections to anti-abortion laws stem from the fact that women should be free to have whatever procedures they want, since it is a woman’s body after all. There is no paradox. The government also mandates that we pay our taxes and file for selective service. Do those acts preclude others? What am I missing except for an inflammatory comment?

gailcalled's avatar

Without Medicare, this body would be six feet under, practically blind and deaf in one ear.

wundayatta's avatar

Not my body; my money. Why do we have a federal mandate to purchase insurance? How crazy is that? Why does America have to try everything else before it tries the thing that works?

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, if you don’t have insurance now and you get injured, you go to the hospital and everyone else pays taxes to pay your bill. How bout instead we make YOU buy insurance, make it affordable enough for you to do so and you end up paying for more of your own care but not more than you can afford?

If the people floating this type of rhetoric in the first place would have realized that it’s a lot less expensive in the long run to create a single payer system or at least a public option and not spent hundreds of millions of dollars and countless man hours fighting against any sort of reform just so the for profit insurers could continue to make huge profits, we wouldn’t need a mandate to buy insurance. But if we’re going to keep propping up this for profit industry, AND expect them to cover the largest users of medical care for the same price as the people who don’t often utilize medical services at all, we need to create an artificial device to make sure that there are light users to balance out the heavy users, otherwise it doesn’t work.

Basically, I don’t see this as being forced to do anything, it’s an imperative to keep one’s self alive, this just makes it so that some people aren’t paying a ton (or dying for lack of being able to do so) while others pay nothing and leech off the system. We’re spending the money anyway, let’s spend it in a way that everyone can be healthy, because in the long term the added productivity will more than make up for the cost.

iLove's avatar

I am in the insurance industry and I agree with @dalepetrie. The reason why premiums are so high for the insured is because the people without insurance utilize the emergency rooms and other facilities only when they are deathly ill, and rack up bills that the insured have to pay through premium increases, and taxpayers pay for medicaid.

Having mandatory insurance will enable people to have “wellness benefits” which will encourage members to visit the doctor when healthy to screen for any unforeseen problems and continue to keep people healthy. A lot of these wellness benefits are free with many carriers.

This is a far separate issue than forcing people to be told what to do with their bodies.

If you have a friend, mother, sister, aunt, or grandmother who has had a baby in the hospital, I have helped pay for their delivery, as have many others. In 2009, I visited the doctor less than 6 times and paid my monthly premium (work benefit). This pool of premiums that many of us sponsor goes to pay for deliveries and accidents that someone you know has encountered.

I hope this helps.

wilma's avatar

I don’t understand why anyone should be forced to buy health insurance. The analogy was just like you buy car insurance to drive a car; but you don’t have to drive a car, you do have to try to live and be healthy.
I know people who are very financially secure that have no health insurance. They pay cash for any and all of their medical expenses. They have regular checkups and other wellness screenings. For the most part they are healthy and don’t have to put out a lot of money, but if they were to have some unforeseen medical expense they would also pay cash for that. They have a savings account set aside for just such an event.
For them at this point in their life they do not feel that they need medical insurance. (They also do not carry life insurance, they have cash set aside for any final expenses.) They don’t expect anyone else to pay any part of their bills.
Why should they be forced to buy medical insurance that they don’t intend to use?

proXXi's avatar


Because liberal government is interested in wealth distribution by whatever means available.

They would prefer mandating that the employed simply hand over half their earnings to those that aren’t employed.

Since we aren’t stupid enough to allow the Fed to force us to do that yet. Devices such as mandatory health insurance and the like will have to do.

iLove's avatar

@wilma – yes financially secure people are ok, but that is what – like 35% of the population or less? I am not sure why a financially secure person would not have medical insurance. Most of the employees in the groups I deal with who make $250k + are the ones who nickel and dime EVERY claim and fight harder to get the cheapest premiums.

Why would you pay $140 for a doctor’s visit, versus a co-pay of say $30. That is not a move a financially secure person would make. Plus, with the rise of cancer and treatment associated with cancer, no person with any amount of money could afford the millions of dollars it costs for ongoing treatments without insurance.

I also worked as a person assistant to several wealthy people (I live near Boca Raton, FL) and NONE of them did not have insurance.

The issue here are the uninsured, the people who have babies without jobs, etc. That percentage of the population is far larger than the “financially secure” without health insurance that you speak of. Those of us who live paycheck to paycheck and are in the middle-income range are the ones who have the bear the burden of the less advantaged.

Also, I am in disagreement with your statement about Life insurance and the wealthy. Life insurance can also be a means of investment, and is one of the top choices of wealthy people as a secure way to put away their money. Life insurance is not just a what-if when someone dies, but a interest gaining investment vehicle that can provide generations of offspring more money than was initially invested.

Again, just like car insurance – you pay for it regardless of whether you use it or not. The law of averages is that the pool of many pays for the claims of the few.

Trust me, if you found out you had cancer or even accidentally cut your finger while doing yard work (my ex) then you would be glad you had insurance to pay for it. And if you want to have children, without insurance you could pay up to $30,000 if a c-section was necessary, or if there were any complications.

wilma's avatar

@iLove , I do have medical insurance. I am not wealthy enough to do with out it. But there are many years where I payed much more out in my medical premiums than I ever saved in coverage. There have been years when the only time I saw a Dr. was for a regular checkup and mammogram. That would have cost me much less than the $750 health insurance premium that I paid every month. I know doing without insurance is a gamble, but if a person is willing to take it, then why should they be forced by the government to do otherwise.
I agree with you that those of us in the middle income group, (and even less) are the ones who are paying the huge price for those who are uninsured and do NOT pay for their own health care. That is what needs to be fixed, and I don’t think taxing or in any other way making me pay more for them, is the answer.

shilolo's avatar

@wilma I work as a doctor in a very affluent area in Northern California. I know very few such people that can afford to have concierge medicine. Even those people carry insurance for expensive bills, like hospitalizations and surgeries, which can run tabs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is a fallacy to think that because 0.1% of people can afford to pay their own way, that everyone else should be able to also.

wilma's avatar

@shilolo , I agree that very few people could afford to pay all of their own medical bills. I also know that for the many years that I paid way more in medical premiums than health care dollars I used from my insurance that I was paying for someone else’s health care, and the years when I had surgery or some other big medical expense, they were helping to pay for mine. That is how and why insurance works.
I also agree that there needs to be a change. I am one of the people who can’t afford to get all of the health care that I need right now. It is a problem for me as well as many other people. I just think that we need to take the time to find the best, fairest solution for the whole.

dalepetrie's avatar

There’s just no way that a financially secure, even affluent person wouldn’t protect his or her wealth with at least a catastropic major medical plan. You get cancer you’re talking millions of dollars, I therefore question the entire premise of the argument as to why it’s wrong to force them to buy insurance.

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