Should the U.S. Government Require Health Insurance?
With the majority approval of Obamacare in the United States, the nation is leaning towards the idea that all American citizens should require health insurance. Virtually, every other country in the world has adopted a universal health care system, and the insistence by the Obama administration to require health insurance for all Americans implies that it is best for the country to do the same as other nations. However, the requirement for health insurance has been a heated debate, with factors such as individual liberties, the economy, and government authority being at the center. Since requiring health insurance for all is the key to social reform and the greater good of America, as another step towards protecting the health of all Americans, the U.S. Government should require all Americans to have health insurance.
The main argument of those that are against the health care mandates states that having a mandate that forces people to buy something such as health insurance, can lead to a slippery slope. This means that the government can force people to purchase other things. This idea of a mandate violates the principles of liberty found in the Constitution, and the nature of a free market that America has been built upon. Not only that, but requiring all Americans to have health care can be more costly and inefficient. On the other hand, those that support universal health care argue that “it’s the key to making health care more affordable and accessible to everyone” (Cannon and Davenport). This means that even the initial costs of implementing health care for everyone are worth having, if this guarantees that all Americans will have health care.
However, the opposition do not find this to be convincing, because this means that the government’s position “amounts to an argument that the mere fact of an individual’s existence substantially affects interstate commerce, and therefore Congress may regulate them at every point in their life” (Dubina). This position seems to argue that even if health is an important part of someone’s existence, the failure of a group of people in the country to provide for themselves adequate care of health does not justify the government to intervene in people’s freedom to purchase what they wish and place demands on them. The opposition may view this similarly to the government requiring taxpayers to pay more taxes in purchasing homes for homeless citizens; it may be sad to know that there are homeless people out there who can’t afford housing and a normal life, but the opposition holds more highly individual liberties than the existence of those who lead inadequate lives.
For those that support the requirement of all citizens to have health care, they do not see the mandate as an exercise of authority against the people. Instead, they believe that this is a cost for the greater good of all citizens in the country, and that “the right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems” (Dubina and Silberman). There aren’t many people who complain that the federal government forcing restaurants to serve all customers regardless of race is an infringement on personal liberties. In fact, people may see this more as a step towards getting rid of racism in the country, and creating a friendlier environment.
In conclusion, requiring all Americans to have health insurance is just as important as requiring all citizens to have a duty to their country. Many Americans are required to serve in the military when absolutely necessary, they are required to pay certain taxes that work for the greater good of society, and they are required to do things such as serve jury duty. Requiring health insurance for all Americans may be seen as adding another duty to the duty list, since what’s more important than the protection of purchasing power and individual liberties is the protection of the citizens as a whole.