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Individual Mandate: Progressive or Regressive?

How progressive is the Affordable Care Act’s provision that requires individuals to pay for private health insurance or pay a penalty? Consider our take:

Comments

19 Responses to “Individual Mandate: Progressive or Regressive?”
  1. clyde winter says:

    Government mandate that individuals must buy a woefully defective corporate product? That is a really bad start. Since corporate control of health care has progressed to such a malignant state, the only way to get comprehensive, quality health care for everyone, at a lower cost than what we are collectively paying per person, is socialized health care. Medicare for All will not be strong enough to solve this terminal problem.

    • Lizzie says:

      Ditto to Clyde’s comment. I resent being forced to buy this defective product that, in the past, harmed both my husband and I. If a disease doesn’t kill us first, American greed will. We canceled our insurance in 03 when we realized how it was dictating our medical care and literally harming us by making us sick with unsafe ‘ approved’ medications and poor quality of care. I ended up in intensive care in a hospital near death from a reaction from Tequin that should have NEVER been prescribed in the first place. That drug was banned shortly after almost killing me and I permanent damage. So, we invested our 500 dollar a month premium in a money market savings account instead. We were able to afford healthy foods and an Integrative/Preventive medical doctor who serves us well for a mere 300 dollars a year for both of us. In fact, since we got rid of our insurance, we have not been sick- not even a cold or flu. Now, we must pay for something we can’t and won’t use because we don’t want a physician who accepts insurance or who belongs to a network. Beware too that hospitals ( even the non-profits) hire independent physicians, paying them millions to sell as many procedures, drugs and services as possible and they force internal referrals to other doctors or specialists to generate even more income. This practice of using patients and their doctors as commodities is heinous and dangerous – not to mention COSTLY and drives up the cost of everyone’s health care for no good reason.

    • Mabel says:

      Everybody, go to Congress.gov and Read This Whole Bill; it takes 15 to 30 minutes:
      1. BILL
      H.R.676 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
      Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act
      Sponsor:
      Rep. Conyers, John, Jr. [D-MI-13] (Introduced 02/03/2015)
      Committees:
      House – Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Natural Resources
      Latest Action:
      03/16/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs.

      Compare this elegant, clear, concise, accessible plan to all the other healthcare gobbledygook out there, including the “Affordable” Care Act, which only fleeces us to benefit Big Greed. This plan will slash costs immediately, especially for us, the people. Rich or poor, free health care for life dwarfs what you’ll be taxed, greatly raising your standard of living. This plan alone will revive the economy. Turn off the TV and recognize the answer when you see it. It’s your right.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Clyde,

      The most recent edition of our newsletter, Everybody In!, includes an opinion piece by a guest contributor advocating for socialized medicine. You’ll get the newsletter in the mail soon; let us know what you think!

  2. Improved and Expanded Medicare for All would only be the socialization of paying for universal healthcare. Actual healthcare would continue to be in the hands of private physicians and other healthcare providers, with patients having free choices of their healthcare providers and hospitals. That’s not socialized medicine. The VA medical system is the only socialized system in America and would continue to exist under HR-676 because of the special needs of the VA patients and their dedicated caregivers. That doesn’t mean that the VA system couldn’t change with time to improve its’ performance- it has had some problems, but is currently working to improve their patient care. Medicare only has a 2-3% administrative rate as opposed to the private insurers who have excessive administrative costs for everything they do, including delivering profits to their own organizations. A single-payer system is the way to go as demonstrated by the history of Canada and other developed nations. We should be able to do that as a nation.

  3. Hubert I. Flomenhoft says:

    Socialized health care is the British system where all the doctors are on the government payroll. Medicare is a socialized insurance system, but medical care is provided privately. Beside the fact that this country is not ready for socialized health care, except for veterans, the high cost of college and medical school means that doctors must have high incomes to compensate. The Affordable Care Act has problems because of the compromises that had to be made to accommodate the private insurance industry. Competition reduces prices only when you get paid to deliver a product or service. If you get paid by a fixed premium, maximum profit comes from minimum delivery of service.

  4. lavelle richie says:

    Support and vote for Bernie Sanders and hopefully he’ll help us get H.R. 676 passed. The insurance company leeches on the backs of society must be exterminated.

  5. Jill Hinckley says:

    Here is the latest taxpayer give-a-way by the GOPS. Tucked into the highway bill is legislation approving PRIVATE COLLECTION AGENCIES (FOR-PROFIT) to collect money owed to IRS.

    Instead of just funding the IRS to staff adequately.

    To the GOP, the government coffers are just a HUGE GIANT TROUGH with cronies lining up to feed on it.

    SHAMEFUL!!!!

  6. Tracy Dettling says:

    I could not agree more about how broken our system is. I had bcbs of

    Minnesota until just recently they increased my premium by $810.oo per month. it used to be 1284.99 to 2095.85 and do you want to know whats really crazy, they won’t pay out one penny until i meet my deductible which is 4,000 per family member ( 4 ) so not only do i pay them a ridiculous premium of (25,140.00)a year i have to pay for all the doctor visits too.needless to say my family and i are out of insurance again… This is horrible we need single payer.

  7. Barbara/John says:

    All states should have to have healthcare provided for their folk. Health insurance and pharmaceutical companies should NOT have so much power in controlling our healthcare and medications. There are people’s lives at stake and states that offer no options for families should be penalized and those funds used to provide healthcare on the national scene. And Republicans AND Democrats need to get it together and compromise! Help constituents.

  8. Magnolia Izquierdo says:

    One thing for me is clear : the affordable health care act is a distortion of of the Obama’s promise. The mandatory part is making the Health Insurance Corporations richer. Single payer is equal to Health Care for all! Tax the billionaires Right wingers want to scare people with the communist fear. Americanss have to open our eyes and look around and see our sad reality.

  9. Victoria Manning says:

    I will not criticize AFC. It is a monumental move in the right direction. But the right wing uses this mandate to liken Obama to Hitler – which sickens me. Insurance companies need to be eliminated so all the available money can go to providing direct service to those who need it and eliminate the middle man who is making huge profits and denying treatment for a larger bonus. I am all for socialized medicine.

  10. Not socialized healthcare, but healthcare that is publicly funded and privately delivered, as recommended by Physicians for a National Health Program. We need to eliminate the insurance companies that make obscene profits by denying healthcare.
    Expanded Medicare for all will be strong enough to solve this problem, if it eliminates the for-profit aspect of healthcare.
    Maybe it is time to take to the streets.

  11. FRED FOX says:

    UNIVERSAL SINGLE-PAYER INSURANCE IS CLEARLY THE BEST OPTION
    NATIONAL HEALTHCARE NOT BASED ON UNLIMITED PROFITS, DEATH PANEL-PREEXISTING CONDITIONS, UNEQUAL PREMIUM SCHEDULES, EMPLOYER BASED SPONSORSHIP IS NOW THE LAW AND THESE ARE HUUUUUUUGE IMPROVEMENTS OVER LIMITED, EMPLOYER, GENDER, COSTLY ILLNESS BASED WE HAD FOR THE PAST 80 YEARS.

    WHEN THE GREEN PARTY IS WINNING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS WE WILL HAVE SINGLE PAYER
    I WILL VOTE FOR THE GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE AND SUPPORT SINGLE PAYER.
    IN THIS PART OF THE 21RST CENTURY I AM SUPPORTING AND VOTING FOR PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES, OF WHICH OBAMA WAS ONE. HE DID WHAT SANDERS WANTS TO DO. GET ELECTED AND WORK WITH THE SYSTEM TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF CITIZENS. RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF COMPROMISES HAVE BEEN MADE AND REAL CHANGE HAS BEEN SLOW COMING OR EFFECTIVELY THWARTED ON MANY FRONTS.
    UNTIL WE HAVE 100K TO ONE MILLION PEOPLE IN THE STREETS IN EACH MAJOR CITY YOUR WORDS AND IDEAS WILL STAY WORDS AND IDEAS
    SEE YOU IN THE STREET

  12. The individual mandate is nothing more than a huge gift to for-profit health insurance companies. They now have the power of government forcing people to buy their products. Health care in this country, partly because of the participation of insurance companies which adds an extra layer of cost, is absurdly expensive, despite producing some of the worst outcomes in the developed world. Yet, President Obama relied on insurance companies to provide what is supposed to be health care for all. It is really just a new burden for all and an enrichment for these companies that have failed to serve us in the past.
    Instead of the lower cost we were told would we would have with Obamacare, we see health insurance premiums rising and large co-pays and deductibles on many of the plans, making it too expensive for people to actually use the so-called insurance they are now forced to buy. Some people get subsidies for the premiums, but overall, our national health care bill just keeps going up.
    I spent most of my working life as a self-employed person who was always searching for affordable health care (but never finding it). I finally have Medicare, and it has given me some measure of security in knowing I’ll have access to care. It also means I’m no longer dealing with an insurance company with their ever-increasing premiums and poor coverage (especially if you had to buy your own, as I did). Their purpose is making money, not providing me or you with good health care. Kicking out the insurance companies and making the government the insurer for everyone, with the purpose of actually providing the American people with good care, would give Americans the security they need.
    I put all my frustrations with health care as I have experienced it in a “health care rant” called “What’s Wrong With American Health Care?” at my website. See http://www.theseekerbooks.com/articles/WhatsWrong.html.

    Theresa Welsh

  13. John Webster says:

    Quite informative as to the difference between poll tax and progressive tax in the current crazy setup. Good job there. I would support trying to lower the prices first in terms of activism. To lower pharmaceutical prices use government purchasing power, change the racketeering patent laws, and allow safe imports. Single payer is a better idea than ACA, but it has little chance. Going after the companies who prey on the sick and the injured with insane drug prices is an easier sell to the population, who can pressure congress.

  14. Ella White says:

    I wonder why Hillary Clinton isn’t advocating for single payer Medicare type healthcare for all. She cares about children so why wouldn’t she care about their parents and all the other family and all her neighbors.

  15. Mabel says:

    Because she does care about those people, and the military/corporate complex would be more of a threat to them than lack of health care. Remember that the last time Hillary tried to pass single payer they destroyed her husband and damaged her. Her hands are tied.

    I think the same influence prevents Bernie Sanders from coming out against perpetual war for profit, although he cited it in last night’s debate. I consider his campaign heroic and scary. The only force that can challenge the Evil Empire is universal, unrelenting pressure from the people using Gandhian non-violent protest and demonstration. We must also try to support the free press and whistleblowers and work to make sure our states’ ballots are opened to more than two parties. Support the Green Party.

  16. sarah says:

    I am not sure if I should sign my family up for care act in California. I do not feel it is right for our country and by giving insurance companies more money through “Covered California” I am contributing to their power. This is where my true ethics are tested. Do I leave my children uncovered and pay a fine or sign up and give in to what is not helping our country, Not to mention the plan that I can afford has such a high deductible that if we get sick we will be in financial crisis anyway. If you add up the monthly cost and the deductible even with the cheapest plan it is nearly 20% of our gross income. I also pay student loans that equal 20 percent of my gross income. The feds and state take 17 % from the top. So in the end this leaves under 40000 for a family of 6. i must add that I have a masters degree. My certifications cost me annually just to work (in the medical field). My student loan debt is around 100k. I do not see the point in this. I would get more help not working at all and staying home with my children. this country is failing