Do Americans really want Congress dictating HealthCare Laws?

American flag

A recent article tweeted on twitter showed that 20% of uninsured do not want health care insurance coverage (‪http://khne.ws/1qJzKtQ ). This is very interesting in light of the fact that most Americans have an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Figure ACA Opinion

For most of the history of the United States, Americans have dictated what we want to buy (i.e. people voting with their pocketbooks) via the marketplace.

 mercedes with man

Only time will tell if Americans fully embrace the ACA. In Chapter 10 of “Here Comes Everybody” Shirky states that “The Meetup staff could not have gathered enough information to understand which parenting groups to suggest.” Since the federal government did not consult the American people in regards to what we wanted in a healthcare reform law, it will be difficult to predict the success of the ACA. More than likely, there is going to be much kicking and screaming until people are allowed to opt out. The ultimate question is whether or not people should be allowed to make the decision to purchase health insurance.

What do you think?

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6 thoughts on “Do Americans really want Congress dictating HealthCare Laws?

  1. Interesting question here. In my view, letting people decide what they want and then giving it to them only works if those people are the only ones affected by their decisions. In the case of health insurance, the circumstances of plan members affect the price that others in the plan will pay. If the plan only enrolls active, healthy people who aren’t expected to get sick, then costs will remain low. But if the plan enrolls more than a few of the sick or elderly who already require a lot of health care, then the costs will have to be high. Insurance plans will go out of business if they can’t pay providers for care their members incur. It’s a truly thorny dilemma — and I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the debate. You propose letting the public decide, to a certain extent, what to do about health care reform. Is there a role for experts here, or should we just give the people what they want, regardless of whether it’s the best option? (Dig deep for ethical considerations here, too!)

    • Absolutely, there is a role for experts. In fact, I believe that the people who should have been at the table were physicians, surgeons, nurses, and a few very intelligent policy makers. Moreover, citizens should have been able to voice their opinions through town hall meetings. There are some really wacked out parts of the ACA that need to go like penalizing institutions for patients being readmitted for the same ailment within a certain period of time. Why should a hospital be penalized for the illness of the patient (that is strange policy if you ask me)?

      If the experts make all of the decisions, then we lean to heavily towards utilitarianism. If we let people decide, we respect the autonomy of persons, but we run the risk of paying for their illness in the emergency department. One way to solve the issue is to let people make their own decisions and if they abuse the emergency room we can simply charge them for using it until they have paid off their debt. That will teach them a lesson for NOT have insurance.

      In terms of real health care reform, we should have started by letting people purchase insurance across state lines as well as tort reform. That would have been a great start. However, from a practical standpoint, I would prefer for Kaiser to take over the entire system and be regulated/watched by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    • It is providing a medium for people to discuss this important issue. I was shocked to learn that Spanish soap operas actually had a message that could move people in a positive way. I will always have a different thought when I see Novellas on telemundo. I have learned so much from this class about social media. Thank you!

  2. For far too long insurance companies have dictated what health care the American people can get. The law is not perfect, but I’m glad for it. I was rejected for pre-existing conditions when I had to buy my own insurance out of law school. I ended up paying an arm and a leg for COBRA coverage until, thankfully, I found a job with employer-based insurance (which could not reject me). Should I ever be in the unfortunate position of needing to buy my own insurance again, I’m glad the for-profit insurers can’t refuse me. People don’t like mandatory motorcycle helmet laws or speed limits either but they are in place for the greater good.

    • I know where you are coming from. My daughter has a pre-existing condition (rare genetic disorder). The only reason that I have been shielded from situations like purchasing COBRA (heaven forbid) is because I was in the military and my wife once worked for Kaiser. If I had a normal job I would be in dangerous territory.

      I like the idea of everyone having healthcare. I think I was disheartened from the way the legislation was passed (obviously a poorly executed process) and implemented (even worse).

      Interestingly enough the Great State of California is one of the few states with a helmet law 🙂 (however you do not have to purchase a helmet)

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