In the health care bill passed last Tuesday (10/13/2009) by the Senate Finance Committee, adults who do not purchase health insurance would face an excise-tax penalty of $200 a year starting in 2014 and rising gradually to $750 in 2017.
Let’s analyze this. You can pay whatever you are paying per month now for insurance or you can forgo buying insurance and pay an annual penalty knowing that you can buy insurance later when you need it. Simple trade-off there. Pay $500/month for health insurance now or pay $200/year penalty and only pay the $500 when you need it.
If even a percentage of people wait until they are sick to get coverage, costs will go up on the people who do not try to cheat the system.
The Federal government has one method of making a “universal coverage” mandate viable: huge taxes that everyone has to pay followed by jail if they don’t. Every other method can, and will, be gamed. Look at all the other government programs that people cheat on: from military purchases, to food stamps being, to Social Security (relatives of the dead still collecting), to Medicare, to Medicaid (dump your assets so you qualify) to taxes. Government socialized health care will be no different.
Even ignoring the Constitutionality of it, do we really want jail time for not having health insurance in what is supposed to be free country?