Moritz finally gets his Wiki page

I just don’t think it’s the one he wanted.

(A certain someone else has a page, too.)

Common sense and the individual mandate

Over at The Pump Handle, Liz Borkowski lays out the obvious reasons why we need the individual mandate.

To understand the role of the individual mandate, we need to remember that insurance is fundamentally about pooling risk. Out of a large pool of people, the odds are that only a few of them will incur major medical expenses in a given year. Everyone in the pool pays an annual premium, and those premiums will cover the expenses of the unlucky ones who end up needing chemo or heart surgery.

What the government has done with the Affordable Care Act is to promise the insurance industry a large risk pool that includes a lot of healthy youngsters who’d previously gone uninsured, and in exchange require insurance companies to stop denying, rescinding, and charging exorbitant rates for coverage based on applicants’ health conditions. To create the larger risk pool, the law requires that everyone have health insurance, and it provides Medicaid coverage and subsidies for those who’d have trouble affording private plans on their own.

If we lose the individual mandate, insurance companies will be left with a smaller, sicker risk pool, and the result will be higher premiums. Jonathan Gruber does the math and finds that without the mandate, average premiums would be 27% higher in 2019.

I think the initial conservative response is going to be an appeal to libertarian ideals. In fact, that has been the only Republican response since the country started discussing the issue. But trying to argue ideology isn’t going to fix anything. Obama – a pragmatist more than a so-called socialist or anything else people call him without being able to define – and the Democrats pushed through a bill which helps to resolve the issue: high health care costs and insurance companies (legally) operating in bad faith. The only way we’re going to make this thing work is if we all pay into it. That might suck, and we might whine that the single mother or father should – from an ideological/asshole standpoint – be shit-out-luck when she or he breaks a leg, but it’s just about the only thing that’s going to work in the U.S.

A valid question