Mrs. Clinton’s universal healthcare plan would require every citizen to have health insurance. Those with lower incomes (how low?) would get taxpayer-funded subsidies, but most people would still have to pay for it. How will those who choose not to purchase health insurance today feel about the government dictating how they should spend their paychecks? In a free society, shouldn’t that be left to their own discretion? And what will the penalty be for those who don’t comply, and choose to remain uninsured?
Mrs. Clinton would have us believe that her healthcare plan will reduce overall health care costs because more people will be able to get preventive care, which will reduce the occurence of critical conditions that require expensive treatment. However, there’s a fundamental flaw in this premise. The single most effective means of preventive health care is getting annual check-ups, because they disclose serious underlying conditions. But, among people who already have health insurance coverage, the majority don’t bother with annual check-ups. To ensure the cost-effectiveness of her universal healthcare, would everybody be required to get an annual check-up?
Many of the most expensive preventable medical conditions are related to unhealthy lifestyles (drug/alcohol/tobacco abuse, obesity, laziness, an affinity for high cholesterol foods). Many people who have unhealthy lifestyles avoid going to doctors because they don’t want to be told they need to change their lifestyle. Once the government is in the health care business, will they require people to take their doctor’s advice because, if they don’t, they’ll end up incurring unnecessary health care costs?
Suppose, at your required annual checkup, the doctor discovers you have high cholesterol and you’re overweight. Could you be legally required to adjust your diet and/or take cholesterol medication? What if you refused? Under Mrs. Clinton’s plan, you couldn’t be denied coverage, nor could your rates be raised to compensate for the higher risks you incur. Could you be fined or imprisoned? That just seems like too much government intrusion into one’s private life. But, if the government doesn’t enforce preventive health care, we won’t reap the cost benefits promised by the universal healthcare system, and it will end up costing the taxpayers even more to subsidize those who choose unhealthy lifestyles.
I predict that a great many people will not be willing to change their lifestyles to save the taxpayers money. Many aren’t willing to do so to save their own lives. And, until and unless we have universal healthcare, subsidized by taxpayers, that’s nobody’s business but their own.