Regarding 21 March 2010

In the interest of full disclosure, this vote does not directly affect my health coverage. TRICARE, the military’s health insurance program, was explicitly excluded from any of this.

Health care and health insurance needs to be reformed. I don’t believe there’s a sane individual who doesn’t agree with this basic thesis. Where the conflict arises is the HOW it gets done.

We can debate specific provisions all you want, and I’m willing and able to make a good case. But what I find disconcerting is that my kids will now be required to have health insurance or face a financial penalty.

Neither of my kids drive, therefore they are not required to buy car insurance. When they DO choose to make that choice, then they will be required to buy it. Fair enough.

However, both of my kids are struggling as it is to make ends meet. This will create a financial burden on them both. I get that yeah, it’s good to take care of yourself anyway, and this is sound. In fact, a couple years ago, I helped the older son find affordable, appropriate health insurance for someone his age and health.

What concerns me is that, assuming this passes Constitutional muster, the federal government will now for the first time have the ability to compel the populace to purchase a good that they may not want or need. One can argue that taxes are similar, and you’d make a valid point.

What will be the next item the Federal government deems necessary for me to have? Broadband internet access? Solar generating equipment? Both of those items can be considered to be part of the greater good as well.

My point: where are the checks and balances on what the Federal government can now direct individuals to purchase in the interest of the greater good?

The sky isn’t going to fall today. People WILL get covered now who were uninsurable before. Preexisting conditions will become less troublesome. These are all laudable goals and should have been part of a reasoned, measured incremental plan to reform health care and insurance. I believe we could have gotten there without the mandatory Federal provisions, had the politics of the situation not run amok. But here we are.

I hope that as a nation, we’re up to making the best of the situation.


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