Whatever happened to personal freedom in the United States? The individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, that requirement stating all people must have health care insurance or face a fine, seems to be me to be an affront to personal liberty and responsibility and is the latest example of how the federal government is taking over more control of our lives. The Supreme Court hears arguments challenging the law’s constitutionality later this month, and a ruling is due out this summer.
Big insurance corporations say that if people only purchase coverage when they are sick, companies will lose money. They argue that we are all required to have auto insurance to drive a car, and that if we are pulled over by the police without proof of insurance, we are fined. If we continue to drive without insurance, we may lose our license. However, driving is a privilege, and we are not required to accept its responsibilities. Many people forgo the expense of driving and rely on less expensive means of transportation.
Our country was founded on the right of each person to determine, within the loose framework of laws, what is best for himself and his family. Furthermore, local oversight, not federal mandate, is the most appropriate way for government to provide for the needs of the people. What is best for the citizens of New York is not necessarily the same as that for the population of Idaho.
While I applaud the intent of the Affordable Care Act at extending health care access to all Americans, we need to repeal the individual mandate that purchase is mandatory. Many other aspects of the law that potentially jeopardize our individual freedoms need to be re-examined. Ideally, we need to develop an alternative statewide plan that more closely provides for the health care needs of our local population while protecting personal liberty and promoting individual responsibility…..Richard R Samuel, MD Family Practice and Urgent Care Hayden, ID USA