"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
The concept of requiring all Californians to carry their own health insurance is gaining momentum in the Capitol, as some lawmakers and healthcare advocates see it as a politically viable way to deal with the state's 5.3 million uninsured.
With the November defeat of Proposition 72 halting efforts to require employers to provide healthcare coverage, the concept looks likely to be part of next year's legislative debate. But it faces huge hurdles over how to make it financially feasible for the poor and enforce it.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has spoken supportively of the notion in recent months, and that has spurred the California Medical Assn., as well as some lawmakers, to draft their own plans.
"We have too many people that are uninsured in this state," Schwarzenegger said in October at the Panetta Institute in Monterey. "We have to really address this once and for all, and figure out a way of how we do it, like with car insurance, where we make it law that people carry insurance and that they are really insured, because it's unfair to so many people when you have people using the hospitals for emergency, and then creating a huge cost."
Brilliant! If California's poor are uninsured, we will simply order them to buy insurance! Because - obviously - the only reason why poor people don't buy health insurance is that no one has told them to do so.
Of course, why stop there? Why not require homeless people to buy houses? Why not mandate that all hungry people shall eat, forthwith? The blind shall see, and the dumb shall speak, on pain of prosecution!
Who said it was difficult to govern? It looks pretty easy from this angle.