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Individual mandate for health insurance is Republican idea

The opponents of the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare have found it too easy to rant about the problems without logic or facts. One has to admit there have been big problems. In fact, it is about as bad as the 2006 rollout of George W. Bush’s Medicare prescription drug benefit or Part D. Opponents keep insisting that most Americans oppose the ACA. The fact is, when specifically asked, most folks support each item that is part of Obamacare. What they oppose is a fictional version created by despicable lies. The liars (mostly tea party Republicans) started with “death panels” and went downhill from there. 

The website problems are technical and can be repaired. In the meantime, the Internet is not the only way to do business. In North Dakota one can go to a Farmers Union Insurance agent and sign up for one of the plans that are available.

The larger problem is with the insurance policy cancellation notices some are receiving. They are finding they have substandard insurance policies that do not meet the requirements of the ACA. Rather than knee-jerk criticism of the ACA, my first reaction is to question the insurance companies. After all, they knew that the requirements of the ACA were going into effect. Why were they selling inferior products without warning the buyers? Are they being honest when they present alternatives? 

The goal of the ACA is to get everyone covered with adequate and affordable health insurance. If some have inferior policies that don’t cover unmanageable expenses, the system won’t work. Jeb Bush came to Fargo and told us Obamacare won’t work because it requires young, healthy people to sign up for something not to their financial advantage. Apparently, he does not understand the concept of insurance. If only those who expect large medical expenses are in an insurance plan, the premiums will be so high it wouldn’t really be insurance. The health insurance pool needs to include everyone. That is the whole idea of the ACA and the individual mandate.

Ironically, the individual mandate for health insurance is a Republican idea. It comes from a 1989 report from the Heritage Foundation, which is a very conservative Republican think tank. The report states that every household should be mandated to have adequate health insurance. Their reasoning was that we all pay the bill when those without resources need health care, so responsible people should carry their own health insurance.

Gov. Mitt Romney used the individual mandate idea in his health care program in Massachusetts. I guess they would know if it works. I wonder why the Republicans are so dead set against their own idea.