Monday, September 17, 2007

The crux of the matter

There's an interesting point to be made after reading this article, and it really undermines everything Clinton says about the health care issue.

Addressing a crowd at a medical center in the early voting state of Iowa, Clinton laid out her proposal, with the centerpiece a so-called "individual mandate," requiring everyone to have health insurance — just as most states require drivers to purchase auto insurance. Rival John Edwards has also offered a plan that includes an individual mandate, while the proposal outlined by Barack Obama does not.
There's a staggering difference in ideology between the automotive insurance question and the health insurance questions.

Most states do require drivers to purchase insurance. However, that mandatory coverage is only for liability, not collision. I realize this isn't rocket science but the net difference is that the current state of auto insurance is the government doing its job -- that is, guaranteeing the rights of its citizens. When drivers have insurance, it protects other citizens from being wronged in such a way that they have no redress. An uninsured driver hitting someone and damaging their car essentially shoves the burden of their recklessness and irresponsibility on another person. However, they're only responsible legally for the damage to the other fellow's car, not their own.

Mandatory health insurance is the equivalent of mandatory full coverage collision on every single car. It's not in itself a bad thing -- I pay for both collision insurance and health insurance, but I do so by choice. The government should never presume to know better than its citizens, whether in matters of auto finances (sometimes it's not cost efficient to insure a vehicle) or health.

And, of course, Edwards is an idiot with idiotic, childish ideas.
Edwards said on his first day in office he will submit legislation that would pull health insurance for the president, members of Congress and all political appointees unless they pass universal health care within six months.