You MUST have health insurance or you will be fined!......

@coffeebreak (17811)
United States
June 3, 2008 8:07am CST
Okay, this is scary - the government telling you how you will spend your money or you get fined? I'm all for health insurance, and can see that if you are able to afford it and don't then you shouldn't get any governement help for it, but at the same time, to get fined cause you can afford health insurance, but don't buy any? Seems to me that is one's own option. Granted it, I am not in NY and don't know the whole story but what is said here, but in reading this, sounds like it is costing them more to have the law - that is why they are so quick to fine.... What do you think? Is this a "good" way to go or is it just more government taking our money from us and telling us how to spend our money - seeing that the national deficit is such an all time shining example of the proper way to spend money! http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080603/ap_on_re_us/massachusetts_health_care
3 people like this
4 responses
@palonghorn (5483)
• United States
3 Jun 08
I didn't actually look at the article, but most people I know either have insurance through their work or they buy insurance if they can afford it. Its the same issue as when they made it the law that you had to have vehicle insurance, however I don't think this is the way to go about health insurance. I work as a seasonal firefighter with the forestry and because we are seasonal we are not offered health insurance through work. Thankfully I have not needed it. However, I was hurt on the job in April, and I know I wouldn't have been able to afford the doctor's appts, therapy, and now being sent to a specialist if it were not for workman's comp insurance. I really don't think our government should be telling anyone how to spend money, at least not until they can show that they are a good example.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17811)
• United States
3 Jun 08
You said: really don't think our government should be telling anyone how to spend money, at least not until they can show that they are a good example. That is my objection too. And thing is, on lower wage jobs, the company doesn't supply insurance (if I remember correctly, CA only requires company with 10 or more employees to offer it and then the employer to pay half the employees - additional depenedents are at employee's cost) I worked for many low wage companies and some didn't provide it at all (and there were lot more than 10 employees) and others did just half of mine, but since they didn't care, they chose just any old policy - and I found out that it would be hte most expensive policy out there. If I took it, and they paid half and I paid half - for just me - and then add dependents, I couldn't afford it. So where's the help there?
• United States
3 Jun 08
I know that in most places, if you work under 40 hours a week you are considered part time and they don't have to offer insurance. I work for the state forestry, you would think that even though a lot of us are seasonal they could offer us insurance, not just to the yearly employees.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17811)
• United States
4 Jun 08
Yep - less than 40 hours is considered part time. Used to be 20 hours was part time, now 39 hours is considered part time and they dont have to offer you anything!
@drannhh (15237)
• United States
3 Jun 08
For me that would be like being require to have auto insurance if you didn't drive, or to buy a hair brush if you were bald, if you get my drift, because I don't use western medicine and health insurance doesn't pay for organic food and vitamins, or even my beloved mini-trampoline. I'd sooner see them healthy-up the children's school lunch programs and educate the public about alternative health systems address wellness instead waiting to put band-aids on the ill.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jun 08
Organic food and vitamins are great, but if you break your arm falling off that mini-trampoline, wouldn't you perhaps need a little "western" medicine then? Insurance has the great side-effect of encouraging people to go to the doctor, since the visit is cheaper, but that isn't really the point, since you don't save money in the long run. Most people really need it in case something really bad happens, like an accident or serious illness (ie cancer), or needing a major operation. Those are the things that will put you in the poorhouse if you don't have any coverage. It is insuring against something bad happening, like having car insurance even though you don't ever intend to get in an accident.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15237)
• United States
3 Jun 08
Lol, I don't really call a cast medicine, nor do I think the idea of splinting up a limb is necessarily western. But I could be wrong! The problem with forcing health insurance on everyone is that the underlying assumption is that everyone uses the same kind of mainstream medicine and many of us simply do not. I think your assumption that I am going to fall off my rebounder is a bit unfair, as I've been rebounding for quite a few more years than you have been alive on this earth, and have yet to do so. I do however recommend that those considering buying a mini-trampoline install a stabilizing bar. But before you jump to the wrong conclusion, on that more personal note, I did say that I don't have health insurance, actually, only that being forced to buy it does not seem right to me. What I said is that I do not USE the health insurance, and I do not. But my point is that if people are to be required to protect themselves, I should like to see them forced to seek preventions rather than cures. Why? Because for so many of the illness people talk about today there are no cures.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jun 08
Well, you have to realize that, if someone chooses not to get health insurance, even though they could afford it, then get sick and can't cover their bills, the rest of us have to bear the burden through higher health care costs to cover the gap. I don't think that is particularly fair to the rest of us, do you? Also, an uninsured person is less likely to go to the doctor until they become seriously sick, meaning it is then more costly to treat them than if they had come early. People should have health insurance if at all possible, but most people have the "it won't happen to me" attitude about serious illness or accidents, so if a mere $219 fine is going to motivate them now, I say all the better. The attitude towards health care needs serious overhauling in this country. We are one of the few "major" nations that does not have universal health care. I think the Mass. program may be a first step towards such a movement.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17811)
• United States
3 Jun 08
I understand and agree with you, if it is only a deduction of $219 a year, if they weren't going to pay the insurance, they won't mind "paying" that. So where's the help? I know the thing the hospitals can't turn you away without insurance, and then the bill goes to collection and credit reports and such. Maybe it'd be a better way to handle it if they put this money into credit collection agency to collect via liens and such and on credit reports. Everyone is so adament to keep their credit reports clean and all - if the hospital bill hits the credit report, they may think twice about paying for the insurance. Then again, the governement is telling us if we can afford the insurance. Just means they are telling us how to spend our hard earned money. Granted, some could probably be helped by that but others...I'm repsonsible to the hilt and don't need govt to tell me what I can and can't afford. Kind of like one bad apple spoils the whole barrel!
• United States
3 Jun 08
Your pretty much right. If everyone who could afford insurance would get it, we wouldn't have such problems. Unfortunately, it is too late for those people once they get very sick. The insurance companies won't cover them, or at least not the illnesses they had before they got coverage, so they end up going bankrupt paying their hospital bills (bills do go to collections in most states, actually, but if you're broke, oh well...) until there is nothing left for the the hospitals to collect from the individual, so the government (or, the taxpayers, to be exact) has to foot the extra bills (which now include the fees of the collection companines that tried to get the money from the broke patient), or the hospitals have to cover the lost money by raising the fees on everyone who was responsible enough to get insurance, so our premiums go up! I believe the article said that the fines are going to go up for those Mass. residents who continue to not get coverage, until it will average about $1000 a year, and the money does go to fund this project and cover the expenses of those who truly cannot (in the states eyes) afford insurance.
1 person likes this
• China
4 Jun 08
in our country we have to pay 10% around salary to our assurance system. it is a big problem like me low paid level people!!
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17811)
• United States
4 Jun 08
Therein is part of the problem. Do I pay for health insurance or clothes for my kids. But the govt will tell you which you "qualify" for. Why don't they do something to bring down insurance premiums - I was paying $500 a month just for me! And I never went! I never got sick! They should do something for a discount if you DON"T use the insurance and stay healthy on your own. Maybe if you pay all year and never use it, you can get a refund or your payments are lower next year like they do car insurance and you don't have accidents. I think the idea is good, but at the same time, I don't see any accomodations to met specific financial issues.