Let’s split a hair or two: There will be a PENALTY for not purchasing healthcare, beginning in 2014. This penalty is legal under the federal government’s taxing authority. It applies to ONLY those without health insurance – yes, the same ones who get health services for free at 1,000 percent the cost because they go to the emergency room, where they can’t be denied help.
AND…. even if they don’t pay the penalty – those without insurance will STILL be able to get help at a hospital. And the penalty people have paid will surely be used to offset those who don’t have insurance.
We are all REQUIRED to have car insurance in California. No one blinks an eye at this, because we realize if someone without insurance plows into us and totals our car or, worse yet, injures us, he/she can walk away scot-free. We have accepted that a responsible driver/car owner must have insurance because his/her actions affect OTHERS.
When it comes to healthcare, uninsured people DO affect others, but we don’t see it because it is absorbed into things that our taxes pay for (like unpaid emergency room visits). Essentially, the government is asking each of us to take financial responsibility for our own healthcare. This is a good first step. Next, I would like the government to ask the medical community to take responsibility for the outrageous prices it charges for the most minor things. Like $10 Tylenol when you’re in the hospital. When the government starts cracking down on the shakedown taking place in the doctor’s office and by Big Pharma, insurance rates, in turn, will also drop.
Look at the bigger picture, people, and don’t buy into the healthcare “tax” meme. It is a penalty that is applied ONLY if you don’t take financial responsibility for your own healthcare. And if you won’t take financial responsibility for your own healthcare, that means you are fine with letting the government (and therefore all taxpayers) pay for your medical care.