Universal health care does not mean forcing Americans to buy insurance

I generally avoid political topics, but once in a while, one of them is such a damn good example of privilege that I’m left thinking: what the fuck?

All the universal health care plans being yapped about at length by various committees within Congress (I could’ve sworn the Constitution outlined a clear procedure for proposing a bill and then voting on it that did not involve marathon committee circle jerks wherein participants vote amongst themselves and then whine to the press about the results) rely on forcing young, healthy Americans to buy health insurance to fund coverage for older and less healthy Americans.

Dude, if it was that easy, we could fix all our national problems overnight. I mean, c’mon. Next up: U.S. solves homelessness by passing a law that forces American renters to buy homes so we can afford to subsidize rent on apartments for homeless people. See? Problem solved! Because obviously no renter is renting because they can’t afford a home, or because they don’t think owning a home is the right choice in their situation. They’re just being assholes, so we’ve got a fine for that now. And if they can’t pay the mortgage at some point, no problem! They’ll become homeless, and we’ll stick them into subsidized apartments which may or may not be in the school districts they wanted their kids to be in, may or may not be within three hours of where they work, which may or may not be safe and up to standards, it all depends if the housing inspectors are on the take or not.

Yeah, problem solved.

Like homelessness, health care in the U.S. is a complex problem. You’ve got tons of jobs that don’t come with insurance and/or don’t pay well enough for someone to purchase his or her own. You’ve got the huge and ridiculous cost of insurance premiums. You’ve got the rising cost of health care in general. You’ve got the enormous unemployment that comes around every 10 years or so, whenever the big boys’ latest get rich scheme collapses and we end up paying for it. And that’s not even touching issues I’m not really qualified to talk about, like where substance addiction fits into all of this – what gets covered, for whom, and so on. If you don’t come up with something that addresses or eliminates all these issues, it’s a workaround, not a solution.

I do not love taxes, but at least I expect them as a normal function of government, and if you’re going to fund something on a national level, it should be funded through taxes. I really really have a problem with the government telling me I must do business with a private company or else get a huge fine or move to another country. Next thing you know, they’ll be offering me “protection” so long as I just throw all my business to [insert company here].


  1. says

    I am somewhat confused by this post. If universal health care does not mean forcing citizens to buy insurance, then what does it mean? I am from Canada, where we have a universal health insurance system. The provincial health insurance plans are insurance plans, and we have to buy them through our taxes. How else would universal coverage work? Do you mean “private insurance”?

    • Jennifer Kesler says

      Yes, Bakka, “buying” means dealing with private enterprise and “taxing” refers to tax-funded services. They’re forcing us to buy private insurance. As I said in the article, I would have no problem if they taxed us in order to provide insurance for all. That’s how it should be done.


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