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Letter to the Editor

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reader responds to insurance article

Dear Editor:

In response to the article "Understanding the individual mandate for health insurance," I would like to give another perspective.

We must keep in mind that last November the voters in Missouri voted by 71 percent that we do not want to be subject to an individual mandate to purchase insurance. I believe that means that a majority of voters do not believe that the government has the legal authority to make us purchase anything.

The first paragraph of the aforementioned article states that there are some basics that we should understand about the individual mandate. That statement is presented in such a way as to try to convince us that what follows is undisputed fact. However, there is certainly dispute about the very first sentence of the second paragraph.

That sentence, "The individual mandate is really a matter of fairness," appeals to the idea that all in life should be fair, and this mandate helps "fairness." Sometimes an example of how something will actually affect some people makes the picture more clear. So, here is how fair it would be to me.

I was fortunate enough to be able to retire in my 50s. That retirement did not include medical insurance. Because I am in good health, I decided I did not want a plan that covered doctor visits and routine care, but a plan for catastrophic illness or injury. A comprehensive plan would have been $600 per month, the plan I chose was $200 per month.

If the healthcare bill, with the individual mandate is upheld in the courts, I will not have the option of my $200 plan because there are specific coverages that are mandated in that bill. So, I, will "fairly" be paying for someone's doctor visits though I don't need them myself. My premium will go to the $600 that I don't want and can't afford. Is that really fair to me and to others who chose this type of plan?

There is another statement in this article that must be questioned. I won't quote the entire paragraph, but the writer says that "Missourians who can afford insurance need to have a basic level of health insurance. . ." I have to ask the question, who, besides me, has the authority to decide what I "need?"

When you consider this statement, do you not find it just a bit presumptuous of the government to decide what you need? Does that not directly violate the rights we have, as enumerated in our Constitution? I for one believe it does.

The remainder of the article continues in the same vein. To promote "fairness" another name for which is "social justice", the government will force some of us to pay for the services of others. This is not charity. Charity is voluntary and this country is the most charitable in the world. This is forced distribution of wealth. Remember my example, I would have to pay $400 more per month so someone else would have services.

To add insult to injury, the government plans to fine those who do not comply.

Finally, for those who believe that they would get to keep the employer supplied insurance they currently have, several studies, including one within the Obama administration, indicates that between 70 percent and 80 percent of those who currently have insurance will lose it when the bill goes into effect.

That is because the cost of meeting the new coverage requirements for employers will exceed the cost of the fines they will incur by failing to provide insurance. Then those people will be forced into either something from the "exchange" or into Medicaid.

Missourians have said clearly that we do not want this individual mandate. The Missouri legislature knows we have said it. We need to make sure they know to hold the line and refuse to implement it in Missouri.

Sincerely,

Kathy Casey

Cassville, Missouri