A 50% cut in health insurance premiums would only reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 3%, estimates a Rand study out Monday, which suggests that incentives and government tax cuts won’t lead to universal coverage.
The study, published online Monday in the journal Health Services Research, says cost is just one obstacle to health coverage, with many uninsured citing other barriers, such as the hassle factor of buying insurance, the desire to spend money on other things or a belief that coverage is not necessary.
“A lot of people aren’t willing to pay for insurance; they have other things they feel are a priority,” Marquis says.
Hmm, people have other things that take priority over spending on health insurance. That makes sense. Some of them don’t feel it’s worth the hassle it takes to do so, some of them need their money for other things, and some of them are just pretty healthy and don’t think they need the coverage. Yep, yep, these all seem like pretty reasonable and rational reasons for choosing not to get health insurance. Cool.
Oh, wait … did we just determine that people are making reasonable and rational decisions based on their own indivudal economic status, health status, cost/benefit and risk/benefit analyses? Shit, man, we can’t have that! Cue government intervention!
A federal requirement that all people have insurance may be the only way to achieve (universal coverage), says study author Susan Marquis, an economist at Rand, a think tank.
Bleh. I don’t have a lot of opinions about health insurance, but this universal requirement business is the one plan I find absolutely infuriatingly awful. I think I’d rather have complete government-funded healthcare than this. Government-funded healthcare might be anathema to conservatives/libertarians for a lot of reasons, but at least it’s more onerous on the government than on the people, and not as infringing on people’s ability to make their own decisions. You wanna give me health insurance? Fine. Just don’t tell me I absolutely must buy it myself. It’s just raising the bar once again on what it takes to be a proper and law-abiding citizen …