One of the most frequent claims that I hear in favor of mandated health insurance goes as follows: “Hey! Where’s the uproar over car insurance, huh? Car insurance and health insurance are the same thing and if the state can force you to buy insurance for your car then it can force you to buy insurance for your health. After all, isn’t your health more valuable than your car, anyway? Isn’t getting health insurance the responsible thing to do?”
As a matter of fact, no, car insurance and health insurance are not the same thing at all. The difference is that the car insurance you are required to carry is liability insurance in case you hurt someone else. If you voluntarily choose to drive around in a two-ton vehicle at 70mph then you’d better be prepared and able to pay for the damages that you risk imposing on others every time you step into your vehicle. You have a moral obligation, a social responsibility to do so. Driving that massive hunk of metal at high speeds, often mere feet from pedestrians, is not a right; it is a privilege and a big responsibility.
Health insurance is for yourself. It does not cover other people if they catch your cold because you practice poor personal hygiene. It is a personal service that has to do with personal and even familial responsibility, certainly, but nothing to do with social responsibility. Only in a socialist state does your personal health become a “social responsibility” and a “burden” on everyone else who must cover you in the all-inclusive welfare state. That’s been tried and collective responsibility for personal health issues has led to rationing of healthcare, triaging for non-emergency situations, waiting periods lasting years with the patients dying or being permanently crippled before they could get care and, ultimately, death panels meant to snuff out the “burdensome” ones.
But you have a right to your life and you cannot ethically be forced to buy a service by the government simply on the basis that you’re alive and not dead. Taxing someone for what is rightfully theirs is an usurpation of that right that states: “you don’t really own that. The government does and we’re just lending it to you.” And if you don’t give the government their pound of flesh simply for letting you live then you’ll just have to be punished and if you’re poor and elderly, well, the state knows how to handle societal “burdens” like you.
That is the reality of mandated health insurance.
If you don’t want to have insurance on your car, get rid of your car, the flip side of that is if you don’t want health insurance what do you do? Driving a car in this country is not a right, but living free is.