I understand the Republicans are hypocrites and right-wingers are nuts about this healthcare thing. But I find it troubling that so many liberals are mocking the idea that mandating that every American purchase private health care is unconstitutional. I'll be honest. I haven't taken the time to research the legal issues regarding this. Nonetheless, it just bothers me that everyone has to do this or face a penalty.
We all have to buy auto insurance, but we don't all have to own a car. Right, I know, sometimes people really do have practically no choice but to own a car, but my point is simply that there is something less sinister about forcing people to buy auto insurance if they want to drive. Everyone needs health care. I can't imagine anyone who can live there entire life without needing health care of some sort. And anyway, this law doesn't say, "IF YOU WANT TO ACCESS HEALTH CARE ... YOU MUST ..." It says, everyone, EVERYONE, must buy it from a private company - no public option, sorry. Imagine if your town had no public transportation, but everyone was forced to buy a taxi pass. Imagine if your state had no public schools, but everyone was forced to pay tuition to private schools.
Many people are uninsured and that leads to multiple problems and expenses and increases in the cost of healthcare because, for example, people seek care in emergency rooms and then can't pay their bills, or they don't get the care they need because they can't afford it. In order to alleviate some of these problems or blunt the worst of them, we must all buy Anthem, or Kaiser, or Aetna or Blue Shield or some other policy from a company raking in billions in profits, AND if we don't, we get fined?!? What a crappy mandate! Give your money to these corporations, it may help some people and may lower some healthcare costs, we aren't completely sure, but either way, give your money to them or we'll fine you.
That may or may not be constitutional. That may or may not be reform. That is not progressive, so don't call it that.