Everyone wants health care to be affordable and available when they need it. But we have to stop imposing extra costs on people who carry insurance, and that means everyone who can afford coverage needs to carry minimum health coverage starting in 2014.If we want to prevent insurers from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, it’s essential that everyone have coverage. Imagine what would happen if everyone waited to buy car insurance until after they got in an accident. Premiums would skyrocket, coverage would be unaffordable, and responsible drivers would be priced out of the market.The same is true for health insurance. Without an individual responsibility provision, controlling costs and ending discrimination against people with preexisting conditions doesn’t work.
Opponents claim the individual responsibility provision is unlawful because it “regulates inactivity.” But none of us is a bystander when it comes to health care. All of us need health care eventually. Do we pay in advance, by getting insurance, or do we try to pay later, when we need medical care?