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Discussing the individual mandate

BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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11/21/2013 11:07:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm interested in hearing the liberal arguments in favor of this. Research has led to me finding out these facts:

1. If the individual mandate were removed, the premiums for the people who enroll would increase by a meager 2.4%. This increase won't even affect people that much due to subsidies.

2. Due to fewer healthy people applying (since they won't be penalized for not doing so), federal spending on the ones who do apply will double, costing $10 billions dollars. Sounds like a lot, right? Except, the government spends more money than this each *day*. So relatively, this isn't a significant increase.

3. The mandate is a horrible deal for people who are healthy, such as myself and probably most people on this site. Most healthy people, knowing they won't need much medical help, will probably get bronze coverage to minimize their premiums. Bronze coverage is garbage. You're looking at deductibles in the thousands of dollars, and only 60% of medical expenses getting paid after that. For healthy people, its much cheaper to not get coverage. Sure, you could get the silver or gold plan, which pays more of your expenses, but then you're shelling out several hundred dollars a month, and the net loss is catastrophic if you end up not needing it.

So if I conclude that I would be better off financially by not getting insurance, the mandate essentially punishes me for doing whats in my best interest.

4. Given the minimal impact removing the mandate would have on the cost of insurance, it seems that our right to not purchase something we don't want would outweigh this resulting hike.

5. For reference, the penalty for the mandate is: a $95 fee on January 1st or 1% of your income, whichever is higher. For perspective, someone who makes just $20,000 would have to pay 200. If you go without insurance throughout 2014, you pay $325, or 2% of income. Every year after that, you pay $695.

Still, I'm open to the possibility of this being a good thing. Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

http://www.rand.org...
themohawkninja
Posts: 816
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11/21/2013 11:22:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/21/2013 11:07:44 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
I'm interested in hearing the liberal arguments in favor of this. Research has led to me finding out these facts:

1. If the individual mandate were removed, the premiums for the people who enroll would increase by a meager 2.4%. This increase won't even affect people that much due to subsidies.

2. Due to fewer healthy people applying (since they won't be penalized for not doing so), federal spending on the ones who do apply will double, costing $10 billions dollars. Sounds like a lot, right? Except, the government spends more money than this each *day*. So relatively, this isn't a significant increase.

3. The mandate is a horrible deal for people who are healthy, such as myself and probably most people on this site. Most healthy people, knowing they won't need much medical help, will probably get bronze coverage to minimize their premiums. Bronze coverage is garbage. You're looking at deductibles in the thousands of dollars, and only 60% of medical expenses getting paid after that. For healthy people, its much cheaper to not get coverage. Sure, you could get the silver or gold plan, which pays more of your expenses, but then you're shelling out several hundred dollars a month, and the net loss is catastrophic if you end up not needing it.

So if I conclude that I would be better off financially by not getting insurance, the mandate essentially punishes me for doing whats in my best interest.

4. Given the minimal impact removing the mandate would have on the cost of insurance, it seems that our right to not purchase something we don't want would outweigh this resulting hike.

5. For reference, the penalty for the mandate is: a $95 fee on January 1st or 1% of your income, whichever is higher. For perspective, someone who makes just $20,000 would have to pay 200. If you go without insurance throughout 2014, you pay $325, or 2% of income. Every year after that, you pay $695.

Still, I'm open to the possibility of this being a good thing. Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

http://www.rand.org...

You are pointing out that specific cases, and not the whole demographic of America show that the plan has no major benefits.

It's a sharpshooter fallacy of sorts.
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

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BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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11/21/2013 11:53:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/21/2013 11:22:02 AM, themohawkninja wrote:

You are pointing out that specific cases, and not the whole demographic of America show that the plan has no major benefits.

It's a sharpshooter fallacy of sorts.

Not quite. Remember that I'm not talking about Obamacare as a whole, just the individual mandate. The mandate doesn't affect most people because most people have health insurance, so naturally this thread is going to focus only on the other demographic. However, I'd also say that being able to choose what you buy and don't buy is universal and applies to everyone.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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11/21/2013 12:05:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/21/2013 11:07:44 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
I'm interested in hearing the liberal arguments in favor of this. Research has led to me finding out these facts:

1. If the individual mandate were removed, the premiums for the people who enroll would increase by a meager 2.4%. This increase won't even affect people that much due to subsidies.

2. Due to fewer healthy people applying (since they won't be penalized for not doing so), federal spending on the ones who do apply will double, costing $10 billions dollars. Sounds like a lot, right? Except, the government spends more money than this each *day*. So relatively, this isn't a significant increase.

3. The mandate is a horrible deal for people who are healthy, such as myself and probably most people on this site. Most healthy people, knowing they won't need much medical help, will probably get bronze coverage to minimize their premiums. Bronze coverage is garbage. You're looking at deductibles in the thousands of dollars, and only 60% of medical expenses getting paid after that. For healthy people, its much cheaper to not get coverage. Sure, you could get the silver or gold plan, which pays more of your expenses, but then you're shelling out several hundred dollars a month, and the net loss is catastrophic if you end up not needing it.

So if I conclude that I would be better off financially by not getting insurance, the mandate essentially punishes me for doing whats in my best interest.

4. Given the minimal impact removing the mandate would have on the cost of insurance, it seems that our right to not purchase something we don't want would outweigh this resulting hike.

5. For reference, the penalty for the mandate is: a $95 fee on January 1st or 1% of your income, whichever is higher. For perspective, someone who makes just $20,000 would have to pay 200. If you go without insurance throughout 2014, you pay $325, or 2% of income. Every year after that, you pay $695.

Still, I'm open to the possibility of this being a good thing. Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

http://www.rand.org...

I'm unable to open that file--it says it needs a password. I'm very curious where this "2.4%" comes from, since by your own admission it's the ostensibly healthy people who "don't need" health insurance--are you saying that their premiums would make up only 2.4% of the entire?

Also: I've always been bothered by those folks who choose not to get any insurance because it's cheaper for them. They're gaming the system, since in an emergency they HAVE to be treated--but they don't HAVE to pay, or at least not right away. It's part of what's contributed to the massive ER abuse going on in this country.
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YYW
Posts: 36,263
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11/21/2013 12:20:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/21/2013 11:07:44 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
I'm interested in hearing the liberal arguments in favor of this. Research has led to me finding out these facts:

1. If the individual mandate were removed, the premiums for the people who enroll would increase by a meager 2.4%. This increase won't even affect people that much due to subsidies.

Not so sure about that prediction.

2. Due to fewer healthy people applying (since they won't be penalized for not doing so), federal spending on the ones who do apply will double, costing $10 billions dollars. Sounds like a lot, right? Except, the government spends more money than this each *day*. So relatively, this isn't a significant increase.

I agree with the idea that government has a role to play in offsetting the cost of healthcare, and I agree that there are both practical and philosophical problems with the ACA. But healthy people will pay a fine for not having health care. The reason behind that is to make it more expensive to be irresponsible... it's the same reason we tax cigarettes.

The problem with the "healthy people" argument is that it's meaningless. Sure, we may all be healthy -or think we're healthy- today. Why? That you are healthy today doesn't mean that you will be healthy tomorrow. Tomorrow, you could be diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer, or contract meningitis. If you don't have health insurance, both of those could become very expensive for you, very quickly, and if you don't pay your bills (for whatever reason) and there are hundreds of thousands like you, that creates a problem not just for your credit score, but for the economy as a whole.

3. The mandate is a horrible deal for people who are healthy, such as myself and probably most people on this site.

It's not the best thing, by any measure... but it's better than you not being insured.

Most healthy people, knowing they won't need much medical help, will probably get bronze coverage to minimize their premiums.

The whole point of preventative care is to monitor you and intervene before something becomes a real problem. Hopefully, by you being insured and receiving preventative care over a lifetime, the net-cost of your health care over the duration of your life will be less than it would have been in the absence of preventative care.

Bronze coverage is garbage.

Yeah.

You're looking at deductibles in the thousands of dollars, and only 60% of medical expenses getting paid after that. For healthy people, its much cheaper to not get coverage. Sure, you could get the silver or gold plan, which pays more of your expenses, but then you're shelling out several hundred dollars a month, and the net loss is catastrophic if you end up not needing it.

I don't disagree, which is why I'm an advocate of the French model.

So if I conclude that I would be better off financially by not getting insurance, the mandate essentially punishes me for doing whats in my best interest.

Well, the mandate makes it more expensive for you not to be responsible... but you can call that self interest if you like. I don't mean to be crass, but you need health insurance because you cannot predict with any kind of meaningful certainty whether you will be healthy in the hereafter.

4. Given the minimal impact removing the mandate would have on the cost of insurance, it seems that our right to not purchase something we don't want would outweigh this resulting hike.

Ehh...

5. For reference, the penalty for the mandate is: a $95 fee on January 1st or 1% of your income, whichever is higher. For perspective, someone who makes just $20,000 would have to pay 200. If you go without insurance throughout 2014, you pay $325, or 2% of income. Every year after that, you pay $695.

I don't like the way this thing is set up either, but even though several options are bad doesn't mean that you shouldn't choose the least worst -which is to get adequate coverage.
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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11/22/2013 5:48:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If the individual mandate were removed
It's already been removed and replaced with a tax. Cause Justice Roberts said the constitution said it had to be. 'Murica.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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11/22/2013 5:54:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Joking aside though:

Also: I've always been bothered by those folks who choose not to get any insurance because it's cheaper for them. They're gaming the system, since in an emergency they HAVE to be treated
The ER is mostly raped by people who straight up can't afford insurance. People who can and choose not to, because they are healthy, tend, by and large, not to need medical attention at all. The large "Gaming the system" is making them subsidize the ones who straight up can't afford it. The "system is trying to take much more from them than any gains a few might gain from ER care.

Besides, this problem is the fault of the same sort of bleeding hearts who want Obamacare anyway: abolish duty to care laws and this problem straight up doesn't exist.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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11/23/2013 2:43:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/21/2013 11:07:44 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
I'm interested in hearing the liberal arguments in favor of this. Research has led to me finding out these facts:

1. If the individual mandate were removed, the premiums for the people who enroll would increase by a meager 2.4%. This increase won't even affect people that much due to subsidies.

I don't know enough about this to judge RAND's method's and I am assuming you don't either, but essentially they just think they are smarter then everyone else since out of the 5 groups RAND was the only one who believes the difference will be in the single digits. Not to say they are wrong, but I think we always have to be skeptical of any group who comes out with a study who's results differ drastically from everyone else's. Especially on such a politically controversial topic.

The mandate is all about lowering premiums. So if all you are going to do is point to some study that tells you it won't lower premiums and accept it as fact, then there really is no rational argument that that could change your mind. But studies aside, we all realize 2 things:

1) The money that insurance companies use to pay peoples medical expenses has to come from somewhere. If 10 people give you $1,000, and all ten of them get sick and rack up a $100,000 bill, you won't have the $990,000 needed to pay everyone's expenses. The only way you could possibly pay the bill at that price would be to find 990 people out there to give you $1,000 and not get sick. If you can't get anyone else to pay into it and not get sick then you would need to charge each of those ten people $100,000, which makes the whole point of paying insurance pointless.

2) If you wind up in the ER they have to treat you regardless of whether you have insurance. So all those young and healthy people who wind up not paying their bills because they had no insurance cause everyone else's medical expenses to go up.

When understanding these two things and realizing that the goal is to lower premiums so that everyone can have access to affordable health insurance, the mandate theoretically solves these two problems by putting those young and health people into the system so that insurance companies can find those other "990" people to pay into it, and to stop them from taking risks at everyone else's expense.

Of course it all comes down to the numbers but based on those two concepts, theoretically speaking, only a 2.4% difference seems absurd. If the uninsured are not getting sick, then I don't see how you can tell me that their financial contributions into the system not help drastically lower premiums. If they are getting sick, then I don't see how you can tell me that this is not causing a drastic increase in medical expenses. So unless you are going to make either of those arguments, a properly implemented mandate should achieve its goal.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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11/23/2013 2:44:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/21/2013 11:07:44 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
I'm interested in hearing the liberal arguments in favor of this.

It is funny BTW how a republican proposal became a liberal argument. I guess that's what happens when Obama endorses something.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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11/30/2013 2:50:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/21/2013 11:07:44 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
I'm interested in hearing the liberal arguments in favor of this. Research has led to me finding out these facts:

1. If the individual mandate were removed, the premiums for the people who enroll would increase by a meager 2.4%. This increase won't even affect people that much due to subsidies.

2. Due to fewer healthy people applying (since they won't be penalized for not doing so), federal spending on the ones who do apply will double, costing $10 billions dollars. Sounds like a lot, right? Except, the government spends more money than this each *day*. So relatively, this isn't a significant increase.

3. The mandate is a horrible deal for people who are healthy, such as myself and probably most people on this site. Most healthy people, knowing they won't need much medical help, will probably get bronze coverage to minimize their premiums. Bronze coverage is garbage. You're looking at deductibles in the thousands of dollars, and only 60% of medical expenses getting paid after that. For healthy people, its much cheaper to not get coverage. Sure, you could get the silver or gold plan, which pays more of your expenses, but then you're shelling out several hundred dollars a month, and the net loss is catastrophic if you end up not needing it.

So if I conclude that I would be better off financially by not getting insurance, the mandate essentially punishes me for doing whats in my best interest.

The problem is that people are less likely to actually know what their best interest is the further into the future they look. As pointed out by someone else, if you get seriously injured and need to go to the hospital, you will be accepted. And then you will pay, or if you can't (as many can't) the cost gets passed on to the hospital, which passes it on to the insurance companies, who pass it on to us. So, regardless, we are paying for everyone's insurance anyway.

The question becomes...

A) Do we want to turn people away from hospitals if they cannot pay?
B) Do we want to require that everyone at least pays a little bit?
C) Continue the current path?


4. Given the minimal impact removing the mandate would have on the cost of insurance, it seems that our right to not purchase something we don't want would outweigh this resulting hike.

This can only be acceptable if you also accept that if you are not able to pay that you won't complain if a hospital tells you to take your kidney stones is piss on a log.


5. For reference, the penalty for the mandate is: a $95 fee on January 1st or 1% of your income, whichever is higher. For perspective, someone who makes just $20,000 would have to pay 200. If you go without insurance throughout 2014, you pay $325, or 2% of income. Every year after that, you pay $695.

Still, I'm open to the possibility of this being a good thing. Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

http://www.rand.org...
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