One of the aspects of Obamacare that has gotten a lot of attention for being unconstitutional is the individual mandate. This is the section of the Affordable Care Act that requires all citizens to purchase health insurance, regardless of their need, desire, or financial ability to pay for it.
In a perfect world, no one would ever get sick and require medical attention. In a fantasy world, doctors would work for free, and no one would ever have to worry about their ability to purchase health insurance. Since it’s a fantasy world, mechanics, plumbers, estheticians, babysitters, and housekeepers would also work for free.
Much to my chagrin, this is not a perfect world, and fantasy is not reality. Medical care is neither a right nor a privilege -- it is a service, and as such, it must be paid for or donated.
Since health care is a service, Americans should have the ability to choose whether or not they want to spend their money on it. It’s not really anyone’s business as to how another person spends their money on their health.
Enter the individual mandate in Obamacare. For the first time in history, our government is forcing citizens to purchase something simply because they exist. People must obtain health insurance, whether they want it or not.
But health insurance is so good! Everyone should have it! How can anyone be opposed to everyone having health insurance?
That’s not the point. The point is that someone has intruded on our personal freedom of choice and demanded that we purchase something for what they deem to be quality-of-life purposes. Of course, it’s also proven that owning pets can generally improve one’s life, so should Uncle Sam decide that everyone should have a doggie or kitty? As soon as we let the government make purchasing decisions for us, for our own benefit, where does it end?
Here’s a great video from Know-Y depicting the absurdity of Obamacare’s individual mandate. In it, Health and Human Services has declared that all Americans must purchase earmuffs to help ward off the common cold.
It might sound silly at first, but it raises an important question about the role of government in our personal lives. As the video says, “If the government can make you buy health insurance today, it can make you buy anything tomorrow.”
The decision to purchase health insurance is a personal one. Let’s keep it that way.
Image via alexa627/Flickr