The requirement proposed by Max Baucus, D-Mont., in the health care reform bill will penalize individuals and families about $770 to $3,000 a year if any refuse to purchase health insurance. It is frankly admitted in the news articles that the purpose of the requirement was to target the millions of young people who are currently refusing to purchase insurance. What will be the punishment if anyone refuses to pay even the fine? Will they all be sent to prison? Will their homes and cars be seized — the same as if it were a drug bust? Will their future pay checks be garnisheed — the same as with negligent fathers? Will they have a home arrest or probation until they can pay it off?
Most young people are just starting their careers, paying off student loans and starting families, all in a depressed economy. Purchasing insurance may be an extravagance to many. So now we are considering "forcing" them to pay?
So many millions of people in the United States are without health insurance because they can barely feed themselves, heat their homes and so on. Others who are not paying for insurance include the millions who are out of work and many of the aging baby boomers. Are the young people who are employed but struggling expected to carry this load under penalty?
Recently, I heard a friend say that "since we all live in the United States, then we are all in a type of social contract; that everyone should be 'required by law' to fulfill their part of the social contract." It is not the concept that frightens me, but the "application" of the concept that brings terror to my heart. The Baucus addition to this health bill is an example of poor application.