The individual mandate was designed to provide all citizens with healthcare.  It simply states that by 2014 you must buy health care insurance either yourself or through your employer or face a tax.  The terms of the insurance plan must be approved by the government. If you are deemed unable to afford health care it will be provided for you via Medicaid.

  • Individuals: You must buy insurance unless you are at the poverty level or the cheapest plan is > 8% of your income.
  • Employers:  Must provide coverage if they employ more than 50 people full-time.
  • Exceptions:  Temporary wavers were handed out to almost 1200 companies.  Most of the applicants approved were labor unions and businesses with a history of contributing to democrats.  During one round of wavers 20% were given in Nancy Pelosi’s district.
  • Enforcement:  The consequence for individuals and employers is a tax.
    • Uninsured Individuals –
      • 2014 pay greater of $95 or 1% income
      • 2015 pay greater of $325 or 2% income
      • 2016 pay greater of $695 or 2.5% income
    • Children count as half price.
    • Qualified companies –
      • $2000 per uninsured employee

Arguments in favor

  1. The purpose of the mandate is to make sure everybody has insurance.  It is the belief that everybody will require health care at some point.  Therefore they should be forced to pay for insurance rather than transfer the cost to society when they get sick.
  2. If more people are insured, the overall cost will go down.  Most uninsured are healthy.  Adding healthy people to the plans will bring the cost down for everybody.
  3. Health care is a right.  If it can’t be provided, then it should be controlled and people should be forced to provide for themselves with government assistance. * Although this argument makes no sense, I have heard it many times
  4. 11, 000 deaths attributed to late diagnosis of disease.  Having health care would prevent these. (NIH assertion)


Arguments Against

  1. If government can make you go out a purchase a product, there is no limit on what it can do. The only reason that society takes in the burden of cost is because the government decided that it should.  The constitution was designed to stop the unlimited expansion of government.  We might as well burn it now.
  2. Every other provision in the bill will increase the cost of insurance.  This off-sets the mild cost saving with the few more that will be insured.
  3. Not everybody is covered with the mandate.  It is estimated that a large number will opt for the fine.