Monday, November 26, 2007

Why mandated health insurance is important

Because otherwise only the sick will get coverage. The recently enacted Massachusetts plan and California Gov. Shwarzenegger's plan, announced last January, both insist on a mandate. So long as you can wait until the proverbial house is on fire who among the healthy uninsured would bother getting coverage? And indeed, Obama's plan guarantees eligibility:
    Guaranteed eligibility. No American will be turned away FROM ANY INSURANCE PLAN because of illness or pre-existing conditions.
While there are plenty of ways to work this (witness the current debate going on in the California legislature), I'd be interested in hearing Obama explain exactly how his plan wouldn't only be taken advantage of by those who'd suddenly fallen ill thereby raising costs and covering even fewer people. My sense is he thought it politically smart to leave out the complex and often controversial issue of mandated coverage, but then again, isn't being forthright about the requirements for universal coverage important to the candidate who believes in telling it straight to the American people?

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