Obama Admin: ObamaCare is Just Like Car Insurance
As to the argument that mandating health care is like mandating auto insurance, that argument doesn't stand up to the facts. Changing the nomenclature to "individual responsibility" rather than "individual mandate" doesn't help strengthen the argument. That the White House is doing both says that it has run out of strong legal arguments to buttress the law.
So one more time, let's go through the various ways that ObamaCare is not like auto insurance. For one thing, auto insurance is pegged to risk, while ObamaCare is explicitly intended to remove the link to risk -- that's what ObamaCare's pre-existing conditions mandate does. If you're a driver with a clean record, you pay less than a driver with a terrible record, and if you live in a high crime neighborhood, you pay more for your insurance than residents of lower crime neighborhoods. And at some point, a terrible driving record can make you uninsurable. Auto insurance is also not used to pay for services before they're needed. Auto insurance pays for damage done, not routine maintenance. And driving itself is not a right, it's an earned privilege licensed by the state, done mostly on roads owned and maintained by the state, giving the state a great deal of say in who gets to drive and what they must do in order to maintain their driving privileges. Auto insurance also is not tied to employment. That coupling of employment and health insurance is itself an unintended result of government intervention in the marketplace. ObamaCare just piles on more unwise intrusion into the private sector, rather than cleaning up the government's previous mess.
Whereas auto insurance is tied to a privilege, ObamaCare is essentially a tax on your heartbeat. The state didn't start your heartbeat, it doesn't maintain your heartbeat, and it doesn't license your heartbeat. But it does want to tax your heartbeat, and if you don't comply it will send the IRS after you.
The auto insurance and health insurance markets are simply not analogous. No amount of sophistry will make it so.
ObamaCare's individual mandate, now re-branded individual responsibility, is also a tax on citizenship in that it forces citizens (and lawful residents) into economic relationships that are not forced on those who are here illegally. In fact, to the extent that illegal aliens make up the "millions of uninsured" that we always hear about, and they make up a great deal of that number, ObamaCare's mandate forces law-abiding Americans and residents to pay for the care of illegals who haven't followed our basic laws of entry and also haven't entered the health insurance market. Is that fair? We are already paying for that care via our local and state, and in some cases federal, taxes. ObamaCare's mandate is a double hit, and one that could end up pricing American citizenship itself out of the market.
The White House's defense of ObamaCare is weak and fundamentally dishonest. Their desired end state, as Obama himself admitted in more youthful moments, is single payer and the individual mandate is part of the path to get there (so was the so-called public option, which thankfully didn't get past even a heavily Democrat congress). They couldn't sell single payer or even the public option, so they sold ObamaCare and the individual mandate, and got a budget-busting, freedom-killing Frankenstein that most Americans oppose and that now a court has reasonably ruled is illegal.
Do we need reform? Absolutely. Is ObamaCare the reform that we need? Absolutely not. ObamaCare needs to be struck down or repealed, and replaced with market-based reforms that increase, rather than curb, our individual freedoms while strengthening, rather than swamping, state budgets.