What seems to get overlooked in the supreme court’s review of the individual mandate …

March 31st, 2012  |  Published in Uncategorized

What seems to get overlooked in the supreme court’s review of the individual mandate is that though young, healthy people may not need health insurance, health insurance is, sadly, a gatekeeper to getting access to even (relatively) cheap and easy healthcare services.  The expense, difficulty and stigma of accessing health care without insurance, and often even with insurance, keeps people from getting into habits of self-care that can lead to better health or earlier detection when someone’s health changes.  Young, healthy people may not need health insurance in the same way as other healthcare users, but they need to take care of themselves, which should include accessing different kinds of healthcare.

I’m deeply ambivalent about an individual mandate as a solution, but I do think it exposes the shortcomings of a market-based health care system that puts the market and the system above human needs.