Thursday, March 09, 2006

Up Your Mandate!

Head over to Health Care for All for a rosy Q&A on the pending Massachusetts individual mandates for insurance coverage. John's a bright and caring guy, but I remain to be convinced. I question the compassion and wisdom of our governor and legislators.

He is sure that our glorious leaders will not strand those least able to pay for insurance. Show me.

Frame this in the context that our Cap'n Brylcreem has POTUS envy. He wants the expense of uninsured citizens off the commonwealth's books, so that he can present himself as suddenly fiscally wise, socially regressive, and able to hold the line on taxes.Brylcreem ad

It is then far too easy for the General Court to ignore the realities of its middle and lower-middle class citizens. Oh, just tell them to find their own insurance. Time to call it a day.

Let us recall who, other than the poor, does not have health insurance. This group includes those are already underpaid, but still above the poverty line. Also, the next step up are those who are barely making it in an expensive town and commonwealth still struggling with an economy that never recovered from the last recession while the rest of the nation emerged smiling and spending.

It's not those in the legislators' income brackets whose employers won't provide benefits. For the struggling, if they are to find their own health insurance:
  • They have no group or big company clout for decent prices.
  • They have no employer to chip in the 20%, 50% or perhaps 100% wealthy white-collar managers get.
  • They end up with high premiums and large co-pays.
  • They have to make decisions about buying food, paying the rent, getting the kids' teeth fixed and many others, with the added burden of mandated health insurance.
So, do we trust the General Court to do the right thing? Do we sleep easy knowing that citizen backlash will correct crushing, misplaced mandates — likely a year or two or three after the fact?

Not bloody likely. This is the time to contact your guys in both houses to tell them individual mandates are cruel and inhumane unless they truly account for the effects on those concerned. Add that those concerned are voters.

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