I’ll preface this post by saying that Hillary Clinton is not my choice for America’s next president. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like some of her ideas. I just read an article that described her plans for enforcement of her proposal to make health insurance mandatory for all Americans. Garnishing wages of workers who can afford health insurance but refuse to buy it sounds good to me. I am very sympathetic towards people who genuinely make very little money and struggle to make ends meet. But those people would get premium subsidies for health insurance under the universal coverage reforms, and in some cases would get their policies for free. But I have little patience for people who live in a 2500 square foot house and drive a two-year-old car and claim that they cannot afford health insurance or don’t want to pay for it. Especially when they choose to have children and continue to go without health insurance.
If you have a heart attack at the park while you’re playing frisbee with your dog, the bystanders are not going to root around to find your insurance card before calling 911. Once you wake up in the hospital with massive medical bills, that’s when the lack of health insurance will become an issue. And if you declare bankruptcy and skip out on the bill, you’re contributing to the upward spiral of medical costs being pushed off on health insurance companies and people with health insurance.
We must either set up a single-payer system that covers everyone, or expand the current combination of private and public health insurance to cover everyone. Choosing to not have health insurance coverage is irresponsible and has an impact on the whole health care system, not just on the person who is uninsured.
The government already garnishes wages. Medicare, Social Security, state and local taxes – they all come out before we get paid. There isn’t an option to pay or not pay when it comes to the things that we’ve determined benefit our society as a whole. Since having an entirely insured population would unarguably be an overall benefit to society, I support Clinton’s proposal to automatically enroll people in health insurance plans, and to payroll deduct premiums if necessary.