Let’s Talk Health Care

Let’s talk about health care. First, some things I won’t do. First, I will not invoke the Constitution. Second, I won’t debate whether it’s a Right or not. These two items alone have caused more weeds in the discussion than results. I won’t do any of these things because regardless of where you fall using these methods, they don’t solve the problem. The problem is that health care is expensive and everyone wants to be able to afford it. So instead of fighting for making it a Right or defending whether or not it’s Constitutional, what we should be doing is discussing how to make health care affordable. So that’s what we’re going to do.

So let’s talk about health care. It’s a hot topic and rightly should be. Everyone wants to be free from illness and the stress that comes with it. According to this Gallup Poll, it’s the second biggest thing in terms of importance. Sure said poll is over a decade old but I’m going to make an educated guess it would be the same today. At any rate, it rightly should be at the top of everyone’s list on most important matters in life. So why isn’t it?

According to this report from Marketwatch, Americans are spending more on eating out, getting new cars and entertainment than health care. In fact, more than double. I’m sure these numbers fluctuate over time but let’s understand something. If Americans spent less time being entertained, more time cooking at home and maybe scaled down on the need for new cars, I’m betting that money alone would pay for a health care insurance plan.

I noted in a previous post (which I’d encourage reading again even though it was posted before the Affordable Care Act became law) I noted first, that government was responsible for the high costs of health care. Second, I noted that many people, even those considered “poor”, have cell phones and cable television. Even a basic cable plan and an iPhone with a data plan totals today about $150.00 or more. Do you need cable television? Nope (I don’t have it). Do you need an iPhone? Nope. It’s nice to have these things and you can have a smart phone. Just scale down the unnecessary big channel and data plans. I’m betting all that data is being blown on social media, YouTube, Netflix…in essence, entertainment.

Now what else are Americans spending money on? America gets teased because it’s a consumer nation. We want big toys. A friend of mine once remarked, “America. We want big cars, big houses. Big boats and big plates with lots of food. We want big televisions and computers. We want big everything. Except for our bodies.” But it’s precisely because of our consumer nation that we have big bodies. And what do big bodies get? That’s right, health problems. Being over weight brings health problems and more needs for doctor visits and medications and…

Here’s my point. Americans have the money. They’re just putting it into things that are not important and quite frankly, causing health problems. America, you could afford health insurance before the ACA, you were and continue to spend your money on unnecessary things.

I’m convinced we could reduce the cost of health care if we got government completely out of health care. Everything I noted above that Americans afford are for the most part, not regulated to death by the government (except cars). Certainly no where near how the health care industry is regulated.

Let’s concentrate a moment on cell phones to see how to solve this.

Even the cheapest of today’s smart phones have more computing power than all the computers that sent man to the moon in 1969. And yet, when I wanted one, my cell phone company pretty much gave it to me in exchange for a monthly service plan. I had a choice of services to add or remove from the plan. I had/have choices. I only pay for what I want. Why doesn’t the health care system work like cell phone companies?

What if you could walk into a doctor’s office or hospital and say, “I’d like a health care plan.” And then someone comes out with a catalog of things you could buy. And on a monthly basis, you would pay for them. It could work something like car insurance. You buy based on your risk assessment.

Of course, the question always arises. What if you plan poorly and you get hit with something you did not foresee? Well, maybe the hospitals could have an “Act of God” option. Pay an extra $10 a month for it.

I don’t have all the answers. And maybe my suggestion would suck. Could it be any worse than what we have now? Couldn’t we try it and if it doesn’t work, we just go back. Right?

Let’s massage this out. Let’s keep looking for more ideas and less “But the Guberment gotta do something.” Let’s be more creative. Continue the discussion in the comments section or on social media.

We remind you: healthcare is not a right

With the problems surrounding both the launch of the Healthcare.gov website and all of the unintended consequences surrounding the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), it is important to remember that healthcare, in and of itself is not a right. Just because we “want” something or feel we are “owed” something, does not make is a “right.”

To delve into this topic, we must understand and agree upon the definition of “rights.” Here, I use it in the same way as did our Founding Fathers and the framers of our Constitution.  The philosopher, John Locke, put forth the concept of natural rights, which states everyone is born with an equality of certain rights, regardless of their nationality.  Since they come from nature or from God, natural rights cannot be justly taken away without consent.

For the sake of this discussion, let us not get bogged down in a theist v. atheist argument.  Even the Founders made sure to side-step this by using the terms of both God and nature (see an excellent article written by Eric Wojciechowski here).  They were very clear:  natural rights are not granted by man or by government, they exist solely by one’s own existence.

The Founders believed that one of the primary roles of government was to protect the natural rights of its citizens, which include those mentioned in the Declaration of Independence:  the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as well as those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.  They were of one mind in this respect.  Though several of those present at the drafting of our nation’s Constitution believed it unnecessary to add the Bill of Rights (they argued it would be a redundant action given that the Constitution was already crafted with language to protect the natural rights of the people and limit the powers of government), they nonetheless conceded to add the first ten amendments to make the protection of those rights abundantly clear.

We must also bear in mind that our Founding Father’s had lived all their lives under the tyranny of a monarchical system of government, where the power of a king or queen could usurp the right’s of the citizenry without question.  They feared creating any kind of governmental system that could eventually mirror what it was they fought so hard against during the Revolutionary War.  So, even though some felt a “bill of rights” was redundant, there was no argument that those rights existed outside of government and thus were not a gift from government.

Our rights cannot be taken away or infringed upon without our consent, which includes the implicit consent inherent with infringing on the rights of others, or, more easily stated, breaking the law.  Unless an individual’s actions take away or infringe on the rights of someone else, their rights remain intact and cannot be taken away.  Here’s a simple example:

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the citizens of the United States of America a right to freedom of speech. This means we have the right to speak our minds without fear of government reprisal for having a dissenting opinion over the actions of our elected leadership.  However, that right does not allow an individual to falsely yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theater, thereby creating a panic that risks injury to others.  Creating a stampede falsely not only infringes on the rights of individuals to their happiness, but also a potential infringement to their property as well as lives.

Our individual rights exist only to such extent that they do not deny another individual their rights.  If we can agree upon this concept, we can proceed.  However, if at this point you choose not to accept the premise used by our Founding Fathers and feel, as our current President, Barack Obama, does, that the Constitution is flawed because it is a document of “negative liberties” — in that it tells government what it cannot do instead of what it should do (especially as it relates to redistribution) — then the rest of this reasoned and logical discussion will fall on deaf ears.

Before we continue the subject of healthcare and health insurance (two related, but very different subjects), we must discuss wealth, which is an extension of property.  It is something we own or possess.

Thomas Jefferson was once asked to provide his thoughts on whether the government should take more from those who have and give to those with less.  He writes:

To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

— letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816.

Individuals own their wealth, regardless of the form it takes.  Money, land, buildings, stocks, investments and more all factor into the personal wealth of a citizen.  As a collective, this block of “wealth” is synonymous with property because it is, in fact, owned.

"homeless - please help" signTo illustrate this concept, let us create an easily identifiable scenario. You and I are walking down the sidewalk when we come upon a destitute individual wearing ragged clothing and holding a cardboard sign that reads: Homeless, please help.  We are both moved by the plight of the individual.  We both feel compelled to help that person. We both agree on the outcome we desire — to provide aid.

If I reach into my wallet and remove a $20 bill, I am voluntarily taking part of my property and giving it to someone else. It is my choice to provide a charitable hand-out. I elect to transfer some of my property to someone else.

pickpocket-crimeHowever, if you put your hand into my wallet and remove that same $20 bill to give to the homeless individual, this is called theft. By choosing to take my property away without my consent, you have infringed on my rights, irrespective of your altruistic intentions.

When I make the choice over what to do with my own property, I have not infringed on the rights of anyone else.  When someone else takes my property, even though it is for the same purpose (to help an individual in desperate circumstances), my rights have been deprived as surely as a thief deprives me of my belongings.

One must understand this basic concept if they are to understand why healthcare and health insurance are not rights, but, indeed, privileges. They will always remain so because to take these services for one’s own means to deprive someone else of their property, which, as we have demonstrated, is an infringement of their rights. It is an affront to the very freedoms we hold dear.

When someone goes to school and spends their wealth on becoming a doctor, they have made a significant investment in their chosen career. They own their degree and certification as well as their knowledge and skill. It is that person’s property, both physical and intellectual.  They may then make the choice to enter into a contract with other individuals who are in need of their services.

If I fall off my porch and break my arm, I lack the knowledge on how to properly set and care for that injury, so I seek the skills of a physician who does. In exchange for his expertise, I agree to part with some of my property.  My property takes the form of currency and his takes the form of both materials and services.

But, that doctor is not the only doctor within my community. His terms and conditions for entering into a contract for services are not the same as someone else in his profession. Some may charge more for their abilities and some may charge less. I have the choice with whom I decide to engage in services.

The same applies for the concept of health insurance.  (I am going to proceed under the auspicious that we all understand that “healthcare” refers to the actual action of receiving care from a member of the health industry, whereas “health insurance” relates solely to purchasing a financial plan to help offset the future cost of healthcare.)  I do not need to own health insurance to get healthcare.  One has nothing to do with the other.

There is no emergency room in this country who will deny anyone healthcare.  In the years of hearing this mantra, that healthcare is a right, not once has anyone found a case where a hospital has pre-screened the financial solvency of a patient before treating them. This is not to say they won’t pursue every avenue available to them for reimbursement of those services, but this is a different subject and irrelevant to our discussion today.  We are not here to discuss the cost of healthcare.

Rights cannot be taken away without our consent.  The Federal government was designed by our Founding Father’s to not only limit the extent of government, but also protect the natural rights inherent to every person.  When someone proffers the argument that healthcare is a right, they are, in essence, saying that their rights supersede yours.  They are wanting you to surrender a portion of your property because they lack their own ability to take care of themselves.

If healthcare (and health insurance) is a “right”, then I have no control over my own property, which, by that very statement, is in direct contradiction to the theory of natural rights as understood by the Framers of our Constitution.  Remember, our individual rights exist only to such extent that they do not deny another individual their rights, which includes the right to our property.

And, more importantly, if we have no control over our property, then where does that infringement stop? Does someone have a right to a seven-course meal every day?  What about the right to have a home? How about a right to a mode of transportation? Occupiers and the D-15 movement feel they have a right to a “living wage” (whatever that is, since one person’s definition of living is rarely the same as another’s). Where do you draw the line between Capitalism and Communism?

More often than not, our society has desperately tried to make the word “want” synonymous with “right” and those two words, as far as the Constitution is concerned, are not even remotely similar and, more importantly, are not exchangeable.  The sooner we can stop those in our society from deluding themselves with misinformation, the sooner we can actually begin to address the true issue — the cost of care.

For now, let us hope we have taken a first step toward helping others understand the fundamental difference between rights and wants and why those two terms can never be allowed to share the same meaning, lest we make an irrevocable leap toward a complete loss of personal liberty.  Our rights are our own and are not conferred on us from any person or government.  Abdicating those rights is tantamount to an endorsement of tyrannical rule, returning us to the very place from which our Founding Father’s fought so hard and sacrificed so much to avoid.

It’s about time

Obama Car CareIt’s about time. There is new legislation going through the halls of Congress to help protect drivers, especially those with pre-existing damage or points on their license, to get the car insurance they deserve. The focus is to provide affordable coverage for more middle income families. The Americans Bravely Requiring Affordable Car and Driver Adjustments By Replacement Act will extend subsidies (tax payer dollars) to those with incomes from 300% up to 400% of the federal poverty level (approximately $46,000 for an individual), making automobile insurance affordable for more low-to-middle income families.

The Americans Bravely Requiring Affordable Car and Driver Adjustments By Replacement Act streamlines automobile insurance programs while providing additional federal reimbursement for people already covered. This act also provides grants (more tax payer dollars) to help states protect drivers from excessive premiums.

This new legislation establishes tax credits for certain small employers to make it more affordable to cover their drivers, which can be combined with additional good-driving rebates through local exchanges that will be setup to help navigate the system.

Thanks to the Americans Bravely Requiring Affordable Car and Driver Adjustments By Replacement Act, most automotive plans must now cover preventive services like oil changes, tire changes, brake replacements and tune-ups at no cost to the consumer. This will help increase access to critical preventative car care in the short term and extend the lives of vehicles in the long run.

As we know, many of our young drivers suffer from unreasonably high insurance rates.  Under the Americans Bravely Requiring Affordable Car and Driver Adjustments By Replacement Act, young adults are able to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26, where they can then get an affordable rate when they go through one of the exchanges.

This act will also keep insurance rates lower by providing automotive insurance to over 30 million residents in the United States who are currently uninsured. By removing the obstacles of cost and eligibility, those individuals will no longer be a burden to highway emergency response operator (“HERO”) units and can find a dedicated garage of their own. If they are already happy with the garage they have, they should be able to keep their garage, so long as that garage is adhering to the requirements in the legislation of not denying anyone repairs for pre-existing damage.

The wonderful part about this bill is it will be revenue-neutral. According to lawmakers, not only will millions of drivers get the insurance they deserve and the services they need, but also will not cost taxpayers a single dime. And, most Americans will see a savings of approximately $2000.

So, who’s first to sign-up for the Americans Bravely Requiring Affordable Car and Driver Adjustments By Replacement Act, affectionately known as ABRACADABRA?  It’s a revenue-neutral bill that will expand coverage, guarantee automotive repair services for both typical services and for pre-existing repairs at a consistent and affordable rate for everyone, and extend coverage rates to younger drivers until the age of 26.  And, let’s not forget, those who are in the low-to-middle class, taxpayer dollars will help to subsidize your monthly premiums. It’s a win-win all the way around — expand coverage of typical services, cover existing damage and include millions of uninsured, all without adding anything to the current deficit.

It’s magical!

Alas, it’s time to peel back the curtain.

The language used in this blog (up until the word Abracadabra) has been mirrored off of the actual documents created to sell the merits of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. These are the same selling points we were told to get support for the bill. These are the same talking-points that are being used today by elected officials in support of the Affordable Care Act. It’s the same magic.

By replacing the concept of health care with automotive care, it becomes difficult to get anyone, save for blind zealots, to believe they can get this kind of coverage and that it would not only be cheaper, but also not cost taxpayers any additional dollars to enact. It also shows how easily the current administration can switch out the the term healthcare for health insurance. Do you submit an insurance claim for new tires, brakes or oil changes? After all, it’s car care, right? Isn’t car care and car insurance the same thing?

It defies logic.

It is without reason.

And yet, even with the resources available to the Federal government, they couldn’t figure out how to build a website that could handle a few million concurrent users who want to investigate their insurance options — an operation no more complex than what users do daily on Amazon.com or Ebay. How many millions of individuals, especially during the holidays, shop online? Hundreds of millions of individual data transactions and database hits take place as pictures and descriptions of products are posted, quantities selected, additional items added to the shopping cart and then using several different payment methods for simultaneous check-outs.

And they don’t crash.

Of course, they are in the private sector. They can’t afford to crash and lose business to a competitor. They don’t have unlimited resources at their disposal.  And, they don’t have a gun aimed at the heads of all potential customers saying they must buy something from them and only from them.

Several may read this and say that it’s too late. To just deal with it. And, we may very well be at that point. But there is a battle taking place in our country. Not necessarily about funding the Affordable Care Act, but to give Americans the time they need to realize they were sold a bill of goods that has failed before it even begins. This is the time where many are seeing, first hand, the incompetence of the government that designed these websites. And those that battle through a system that was obviously never stress-tested, waiting hours for page reloads, are finding themselves sucker-punched with sticker shock once they get their quote.

And the longer this battle plays out, more and more Americans will be afforded the time to ask themselves, if our government can’t even manage to build a version of Amazon.com, how in the world are they going to be able to manage the complexity and nuance of individual health care?

All we keep hearing, though, is, Abracadabra.

For those fighting, it’s all about time.

Healthcare is not a right

To delve into this topic, we first need to understand and agree upon the definition of “rights” as used and implemented by the Founding Fathers and the framers of our Constitution.  The first stop is the philosopher, John Locke, who put forth the theory of natural rights, which states everyone is born with an equality of certain rights, regardless of their nationality.  Since they come from nature or from God, natural rights cannot be justly taken away without consent.

For the sake of this discussion, let us not get bogged down in a theist v. atheist argument.  Even the Founders made sure to side-step this by using the terms of both God and nature.  They were very clear:  natural rights are not granted by man or by government, they exist solely by one’s own existence.

The Founders believed that one of the primary roles of government was to protect the natural rights of it’s citizens, which include those mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as well as those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.  They were of one mind in this respect.  Though several of those present at the drafting of our nation’s Constitution believed it unnecessary to add the Bill of Rights (they argued it would be a redundant action given that the Constitution was already crafted with language to protect the natural rights of the people and limit the powers of government), they nonetheless conceded to add the first ten amendments to make the protection of those rights abundantly clear.

We must also bear in mind that our Founding Father’s had lived all their lives under the tyranny of a monarchical system of government, where the power of a king or queen could usurp the right’s of the citizenry without question.  They feared creating any kind of governmental system that could eventually mirror what it was they fought so hard against during the Revolutionary War.  So, even though some felt a “bill of rights” was redundant, there was no argument that those rights existed outside of government and thus were not a gift from government.

Our rights cannot be taken away or infringed upon without our consent, which includes the implicit consent inherent with infringing on the rights of others, or, more easily stated, breaking the law.  Unless an individual’s actions take away or infringe on the rights of someone else’s, their rights remain intact and cannot be taken away.  Here’s a simple example:

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the citizens of the United States of America a right to freedom of speech.  This means we have the right to speak our minds without fear of government reprisal for having a dissenting opinion over the actions of our elected leadership.  However, that right does not allow an individual to falsely yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theater, thereby creating a panic that risks injury to others.  By creating a false stampede, not only have the rights of individuals to their happiness been infringed, but also a potential infringement to their lives and property.

Our individual rights exist only to such extent that they do not deny another individual their rights.  If we can agree upon this concept, we can proceed.  However, if at this point you choose not to accept the premise used by our Founding Fathers and feel, as our current President, Barack Obama, does, that the Constitution is flawed because it is a document of “negative liberties” — in that it tells government what it cannot do instead of what it should do (especially as it relates to redistribution) — then the rest of this reasoned and logical discussion will fall on deaf ears.

Before we move to the subject of healthcare and health insurance (two related, but very different subjects), we must now discuss wealth, which is an extension of property.  It is something we own or possess.

Thomas Jefferson was once asked to provide his thoughts on whether the government should take more from those who have and give to those with less.  He writes:

To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816.

Individuals own their wealth, regardless of the form it takes.  Money, land, buildings, stocks, investments and more all factor into the personal wealth of a citizen.  As a collective, this block of “wealth” is synonymous with property because it is, in fact, owned.

Keep this in mind while we shift gears for a moment to provide an illustration.

You and I are walking down the sidewalk when we come upon a destitute individual wearing ragged clothing and holding a cardboard sign that reads: Homeless, please help.  Now, we are both moved by the plight of the individual.  We both feel compelled to help that person.  If I reach into my wallet and remove a $20 bill, I am voluntarily taking part of my property and giving it to someone else.  It is my choice to provide a charitable hand-out.  However, if you put your hand into my wallet, remove a $20 bill and give it to the homeless individual, this is called theft, because you have infringed on my rights — my property.

When I make the choice over what to do with my own property, I have not infringed on the rights of anyone else.  However, when someone else takes my property, even though it is for the same purpose (to help an individual in desperate circumstances), my rights have been deprived as surely as a thief deprives me of my property.

We are now equipped with the building blocks to understand why healthcare and health insurance are not rights, but, indeed, privileges and, therefore, wants!

When someone in this country goes to school and spends their wealth on becoming a doctor, they have made a significant investment in their chosen career.  They own their degree and certification as well as their knowledge and skill.  It is that person’s personal property, both physical and intellectual.  They may then make the choice to enter into a contract with other individuals who are in need of their services.

If I fall off my porch and break my arm, I lack the ability to know how to properly set and care for that injury, so I seek the skills of a physician who does.  In exchange for his expertise, I agree to part with some of my property.  My property takes the form of currency and his takes the form of both materials and services.

But, that doctor is not the only doctor within my community.  His terms and conditions for entering into a contract for services are not the same as someone else in his profession.  Some may charge more for their abilities and some may charge less.  I have the choice with whom I decide to engage in services.

The same applies for the concept of health insurance.  (I am going to proceed under the auspicious that we all understand that “healthcare” refers to the actual action of receiving care from a member of the health industry, whereas “health insurance” relates solely to purchasing a financial plan to help make the cost of healthcare more affordable.)  I do not need to own health insurance to get healthcare.  One has nothing to do with the other.

There is no emergency room in this country who will deny anyone healthcare.  In the years of hearing this mantra, that healthcare is a right, no where can anyone find a case where a hospital has pre-screened the financial solvency of a patient before treating them.  This is not to say they won’t pursue every avenue available to them to get reimbursed for those services, but this is a different subject and irrelevant to our discussion today.  We are not here to discuss the cost of healthcare.

Rights cannot be taken away without our consent.  The Federal government was designed by our Founding Father’s to not only limit the extent of government, but also protect the natural rights inherent to every person.  When someone proffers the argument that healthcare is a right, they are, in essence, saying that their rights supersede yours.  They are wanting you to surrender a portion of your property because they lack their own ability to take care of themselves.

Thus, if healthcare (and health insurance) is a “right”, then I have no control over my own property, which, by that very statement, is in direct contradiction to the theory of natural rights as understood by the Framers of our Constitution.  Remember, our individual rights exist only to such extent that they do not deny another individual their rights, which includes the right to our property.

And, more importantly, if we have no control over our property, then where does that infringement stop?  Does someone have a right to a seven-course meal every day?  What about the right to have a home?  How about a right to a mode of transportation?  Occupiers and the D-15 movement feel they have a right to a “living wage” (whatever that is, since one person’s definition of living is rarely the same as another’s, it is a puerile statement at best).  Where do you draw the line between Capitalism and Communism?

More often than not, our society has desperately tried to make the word “want” synonymous with “right” and those two words, as far as the Constitution is concerned, are not even remotely similar and are not exchangeable.  The sooner we can stop those in our society from deluding themselves with misinformation, the sooner we can actually begin to address the true issue that drives today’s topic — the cost of care.

For now, let us hope we have taken a first step toward helping others understand the fundamental difference between rights and wants and why those two terms can never be allowed to share the same meaning, lest we make an irrevocable leap toward a complete loss of personal liberty.  Our rights are our own and are not conferred on us from any person or government.  Abdicating those rights is tantamount to an endorsement of tyrannical rule, returning us to the very place from which our Founding Father’s fought so hard and sacrificed so much to avoid.

Car insurance analogy is wrong and demonstrates an uninformed citizen

What’s the big deal about making healthcare insurance mandatory?  The government already makes us buy car insurance.  Why not make people insure something far more valuable than a car?

This is what I have heard over and over and over again from so many people as justification for their support of (if not all out fawning love for) the Affordable Healthcare Act, aka, “Obamacare.”  They argue this point with passion and vigor.  They are emotionally invested in this analogy because, on the surface, it sounds like an identical situation.

That’s one of the main problems with the average American citizen today — the lack of ability to delve below the surface and question the underpinnings.  Many will accept what has been cut up into easily digested sound bites as absolute fact.  News sources have to package the news in these small nuggets, devoid of depth in favor of a sexy headline or a bottom-of-the-screen crawl that fits in a Twitterish 140 characters or less.

Let’s take a bit of direction from one of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson.  When asked about his position on skepticism, he said, “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.

Since reason is one of the primary ingredients here, let us scratch below the surface of this specious assertion that being forced by the federal government to buy healthcare insurance is the same thing as having to buy automobile insurance.

First, there is NO law mandating that everyone must own car insurance.  Look it up.  In all 50 states in this great nation, there is no law, statute, ordinance or ruling that says, as a citizen of the United States of America, you must buy car insurance.

This is when the cradle-to-gravers interject, of course, if you don’t own a car, you don’t have to buy insurance.  But the moment you buy a car, the state mandates insurance.

Onto point two!

Second, even if you own one or more vehicles, there is still NO law mandating the purchase of insurance.  You can buy 100 vehicles today and you will not have to show anyone your proof of insurance — unless you plan to drive those cars home on the public roads.  You can have those vehicles delivered to your home and drive them back and forth in your driveway all day long and not a single police officer can cite you.   Moreover, if you own a ranch or a farm or just have a larger piece of private property, you can drive those vehicles all over your property and never be in danger of being ticketed for lack of insurance.  In fact, you could have thousands of square miles of land and make your own racetrack and drive as much as you want and never once pick up the phone to purchase auto insurance and the state cannot do a thing about it.

You can see the furrows now in the brows of the zealots.  Then they say, that’s an extreme example!  Everyone has to drive on the roads.

Well…not “everyone.”  Let’s delve further into this observation.  We have taken the sum of the population of the United States and backed out anyone who does not own a vehicle or anyone who does not drive on the public roadways.  We have effectively demonstrated that the comparison of health insurance to auto insurance cannot hold water by simply showing auto coverage does NOT apply to everyone.  But, let’s continue to play the game to its final conclusion.

This is where we need to remind everyone that there is no right to drive.  It is a privilege.  Should you receive too many infractions or break the laws of our land, you will lose that privilege.  There is a relationship — a tacit agreement —  between the state and the private citizen in order to use the public roadways .  The citizen agrees to enter into this relationship of their own accord and agrees to adhere to the confines established by the state.  Obeying traffic laws is one of these confines.  Purchasing automobile insurance is another.

A ha! I hear the audience shout.  See?  The government can force you to buy insurance!

The failure of most citizens to understand the meaning of words astounds me (and will likely be the subject of a separate blog).  Does it take a college education to understand the difference between a citizen who enters into an agreement ‘of their own accord’ and a citizen being forced against their will?  Do we honestly need to break out Webster’s?

More importantly, when you enter into this agreement, what are you actually buying and why?  To answer the former, you are asked to buy liability insurance.  Nothing more.  As to the latter, you are being told to buy liability insurance because of the possibility that you will inflict harm on someone else.  There’s a distinction worth repeating.  You agree to buy liability insurance in the event you hurt a fellow citizen.  So, in actuality, the product you are purchasing, at it’s core, is not intended for you.  The state, in an effort to protect its citizens, wants to ensure you can provide adequate financial compensation in the event you harm, either accidentally or willfully, another person.  Again, it’s not for you, the policy holder, but to protect someone else.

With that being said, how can this be applied to government mandated health insurance, a product that is meant, at it’s core, just for you?  We have shown that the privilege to drive on the public roads is granted via an agreement to purchase liability insurance and follow the rules of the road.  So, what privilege are you gaining by entering into an agreement with the state when they deign the need for health insurance?  Diane Auer Jones, columnist for The Chornicle of Higher Education ponders, “…the mandatory health insurance proposal would essentially require that, in exchange for the privilege of … citizenship? Residency in the U.S.? Life? … one must procure health insurance for herself and her family. Can pedestrians ‘opt out’ of mandatory health-insurance coverage…?”  Are we really supposed to believe that we must enter into an agreement with the state, predicated on a requirement to purchase health insurance, in exchange for citizenship, residency, or life?

A reasoned and logical understanding of these two very different scenarios reveals the inherent and tragic flaw in trying to use one to define and justify the other.  At face value, it sounds like a solid argument.  In reality, it is no more useful than a screen door on a submarine.  Sure, it’s a door and can be closed and, on the surface, acts like any other door…but when you delve just below the surface, it’s easy to understand that it will not hold water, any more than the car insurance argument can, when applied to mandatory health insurance.