This is something I meant to blog about back when Facebook was blowing up about the Supreme Court ruling on the "Obamacare" health insurance mandate. Aside from the legal arguments about constitutionality, I just have no idea how to understand the GOP's stance on when the government can make us pay for health care coverage.
Here are some government programs where you have to pay for someone's health care:
- Medicare - for old people.
- Medicaid - for poor and disabled people.
- CHIP - for children.
- VA - for veterans.
- Employer tax subsidies - for most businesses.
- COBRA - for temporarily unemployed people.
- EMTALA - for emergency care.
- USMS - for prisoners.
- The "Obamacare" mandate - for yourself.
The Republican party right now wants to repeal the mandate, saying it's an unacceptable infringement on liberty. But I'm not hearing any calls to end other government programs that provide health insurance. The biggest government health care program is Medicare, and only a small minority of Republicans support even making cuts to it, much less ending it completely. Pre-Obamacare, we were already close to universal health care coverage. Obamacare (mostly) gets us the rest of the way, but only on top of existing government programs that Republicans support.
So... why are the vast majority of Republicans OK with all government programs that force you to pay for health care except Obamacare?