Health Care and Political Metaphor

If you’ve paid any attention to the health reform debate, you’ve probably heard at least one talking head claim that an individual health insurance mandate is just like making people buy auto insurance.


We don’t require everyone to buy auto insurance – only those who want to license their vehicle for use on public roads.  Anyone who has no car probably has no reason to buy auto insurance. And not everyone who owns a car chooses to register it. Why would anyone own a vehicle and not register it?

  • They don’t drive
  • or can’t afford gas/maintenance/repairs/insurance.
  • The vehicle doesn’t run
  • or it’s a collectors’ item
  • or a restoration project.
  • It could be a race car,
  • off-road vehicle,
  • farm vehicle,
  • or a demolition derby entry.

There are undoubtedly more.

The point is that auto insurance is something people need as a result of choices they’ve made. Not everybody needs it. On the other hand, if you have a body, you will need health care and given our current system, that means you need health insurance. It’s not something you get to choose and the sooner the politicians figure that out, the sooner they can move on to other things like realizing we’re all in the same risk pool.

What are your thoughts?

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