However, those in bed with the current form this bill (read, "liberal left" and "1000+ page monstrosity that no one has read" respectively) have been shoving this 47 million number down our throats for ages... even though they know it is misleading at best.
Of the 47 million uninsured, approximately:
- 10 Million are Illegal Immigrants (unless immigration laws change, these people are not insurable without being discovered as illegals or without stealing identities)
- 16 Million are healthy Americans who have the financial resources and oppertunity to be insured and choose not to be, are careless, or are underinformed
- 12 Million are uninsured for an average of 4 months or less (most of these individuals could have coverage through COBRA or Short Term Health plans but choose not to do so, are careless, or are underinformed)
sources: Congressional Budget Office and data from US Census Bureau
This leaves us somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 million who are uninsured against their will.
Is that an acceptable number? No.
Is that number sufficient to socialize (to this degree) a massive, developed system using untested methodology at a cost of about 1-1.5 trillion dollars we don't actually possess? No.
It also kind of rubs me the wrong way that people who are wealthy and choose not to have insurance will be forced to do so or pay a yearly fine. I prefer to keep my rights intact. The right to "lack insurance without penalty" may be a sort of odd one, but one that blocks a slide into dangerous territory. If I don't want to have car insurance, I can choose not to drive; but if I don't want to have health insurance, I can't choose not to live... OK, so I guess I can, but that wouldn't be very helpful. I don't like the thought of being forced to actively do things concerning my own body under the threat of a fine.
: sirens :
"What seems to be the problem officer?"
"Do you know how much you were eating sir?"
"Sorry officer, you see, I've been really stressed out lately and maybe I was going a little large."
"Well, the cholesterol limit here in California is 180 and I've got you at 195. I'm going to have to write you up. The fine is $2,500 and 40 hours of nutritional re-education at your local re-education cen-- Is that a full-sugar softdirnk i see there sir?"
"What? I... no, I... it's diet, wait... hang on!"
: bang :
"One fewer criminal on the streets."
Joking aside, time will tell if this new plan works. I'm more of the sort who supports gradual change based not on radical (reckless?) shifts in policy, but on careful simple smaller changes. Radical change is often based on the idea that "change" itself is some kind of panacea. Constant, gradual change, on the other hand, allows for occasional failures at little cost to the overall. Fixing an engine part now and then is much easier and cheaper than buying a new car that might turn out to be a lemon.