Monday, December 21, 2009

As predicted

Despite legislation's requirement, some Americans say they'll go without insurance . . . If Congress passes a law that requires Americans to buy health insurance, Rebecca Antonelli knows what she'll do: Just say no and pay a penalty instead. "It comes down to an economic decision, and I'd be more inclined to save the money and take a risk of getting sick," says Antonelli, 46, a marketing consultant in Raleigh, N.C., who dropped her policy last year when business slumped. Both the House and Senate bills revamping health care require most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. Yet government mandates don't necessarily ensure compliance: Not all Americans buckle up, or get their children vaccinated. Some health experts worry the proposed penalties are too low and that many younger, healthier people may opt to pay the fee and gamble on their health. That could drive up the costs of covering older and sicker people.

As stated before, if you are young and healthy, it would seem to make sense to go uninsured (and pay a fine much less than the cost of insurance). If you develop some catastrophic illness, you could then obtain health insurance, with government subsidies if needed, because insurance companies would be prohibited from declining coverage or raising rates because of preexisting conditions.

Remember, as soon as you start up a welfare scheme, people figure out how to game the system.

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