Congress moved significantly closer toward enacting a landmark health care bill after Senate Democrats secured 60 votes for a new version of the legislation unveiled today, setting the stage for a historic vote on the measure by Christmas. . . .
All Americans would be required to have some form of health insurance and the government would provide subsidies to help low- and moderate-income families buy a policy. Insurance companies would be prohibited from declining coverage or raising rates because of preexisting conditions.
But the new proposal, unveiled by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, includes a number of changes to appease both centrist and liberal members of the Democratic caucus — all of whom will have to vote for the bill to achieve the 60-vote threshold needed for approval.
Among the changes:
. . . Individuals who do not have some form of coverage could face higher penalties. By 2016, families without coverage would pay either a $750 fine or 2% of their income up to $2,250 — whichever is greater.
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".
This is essentially a welfare scheme. Obviously, there will be many freeloaders.