Americans Don’t Want Health Insurance? Since When?

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When I graduated from college, there were a few months prior to starting my first “real” job when I didn’t have health insurance. Or I wouldn’t have, at least, if my parents hadn’t insisted on it.

Even though I was a healthy 21-year-old, my parents wouldn’t have considered allowing me to exist without health insurance, even for one day. Why? Simple.

As my parents, they would have felt obligated to step up financially in the event of a major health care catastrophe. They worked exceedingly hard their entire lives to accumulate their nest egg. There was no way they were going to allow me to put that at risk because I was too stupid or cheap to shell out a couple of hundred bucks for insurance.

I’ve gone through life ever since assuming there are only two kinds of people: those who had health insurance and those who needed it. And until recently, that belief has been borne out. While I’ve certainly met people who couldn’t afford health insurance, I’ve never met a single person who didn’t want it.

So imagine my surprise — shock, really — to recently learn that apparently a lot of my fellow citizens not only don’t want health insurance, they’re absolutely livid at the suggestion they be forced to buy it.

Here’s a recent comment from our Facebook page. I’ve seen many in the same vein all over the Internet and on TV.

I’m looking for people who want to join me to sue the government when they try to penalize us for not buying health insurance. Can the “land of the free” force us to buy something that we don’t want, or don’t need?

Forget being a Republican, a Democrat or independent. Comments like this leave me honestly confused. How can you not want health insurance? How can you not need it? What are you going to do if you get sick and start getting bills you can’t pay? More to the point, what are you doing now?

Is the mandate the problem? 

The only possible reason I can conjure up for so many people being so angry is because Obamacare involves the government making us do something. Is that it? If so, I get it. At least, kind of.

I wasn’t happy when my state passed a law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. Nor was I thrilled when seat belt laws came into vogue. In my mind, I was only risking my own safety, so it was nobody else’s business. Then it was explained to me: If my lack of a helmet or seat belt resulted in injuries requiring treatment beyond my ability to pay, the burden would fall to society. So society had a right to mandate that I protect myself from myself.

That’s something I could understand. And lo and behold, it’s the same argument behind Obamacare. Not similar. It’s identical.

There are other government mandates and actions I’ve taken exception to over the years. I’ve never been happy about my fellow citizens potentially spending years in prison (at my expense, no less) for smoking pot. I’ve never been wild about 25 cents of every dollar I pay in income taxes going to pay for weapons and warriors. I’ve always found it odd that I pay thousands in property taxes to support schools when I have no children. And should I fail to pay them, the house I paid for can be seized and sold.

You get the point. No matter what your politics are, you can always find something a government agency mandates that you don’t like. And from mandatory car liability insurance to mandatory draft registration, our nation has been full of them since I’ve been around. 

But health insurance? Here I get confused. It makes no difference to me whether the government mandates it or not, because my parents, along with common sense, made it a personal mandate long ago. If you don’t have insurance, get sick and run out of money, you’re OK with allowing your fellow citizens to foot your bill? How do you justify that?

So you tell me: What’s the beef?

I ask this question honestly and without judgment of any kind. I’m simply trying to understand why anyone, of any political persuasion, demographic or income category would voluntarily choose to go through life without health insurance.

After all, except for those relatively few who die suddenly, we’re all going to get sick someday. And even if you’re wealthy enough to pay the bill — which few of us are — you certainly wouldn’t want to. So, for those of you out there who are screaming about how you don’t want health insurance, please help me understand why.

Don’t tell me about why you hate Obamacare: I get it. Don’t tell me you hate mandates: I’m with you. But if you simply don’t like health insurance — and that seems to be what the reader above and many others are saying — I’m lost. Please take a minute and help me understand why you don’t want or need health insurance, as well as what your backup plan is.

Comment below or on our Facebook page. Seriously. I’m dying to know.

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Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Peter VC

    I don’t want health insurance, nor will I purchase health insurance. This Socialist government can go ahead and charge me a “fine”. It will be considerably less than paying for it. I have not gone to the hospital in 26 years, and I will not be going anytime soon.

  • VL123

    So this idiot’s reason for me wanting Obamacare is because it’s good for me and my safety? He says the government knows better than me for what I need or want. Noone is against health insurance…except when the ins. co screws you over, but the insurance industry needs regulating not forcing everyone to sign up for overpriced insurance supplied by the govt through these said ins. co.

  • JMC

    The headline asks, “Americans don’t want health insurance? Since when?” The answer is, since Hillary mucked with the health-care system. Thanks to her, we have insurance companies who can dictate even which doctor you see, simply by covering only certain ones. We also have insurance companies who make you see two doctors instead of one…having to get a referral from your general practitioner before you see a specialist. When your only health problem is chronic asthma, who needs a GP? I always went straight to my ENT doctor, until those stupid HMOs came into play. Thanks, but I’m perfectly capable of managing my own health, and I don’t need any bean-counters telling me which doctor I can see and what treatments I’m allowed. I prefer the freedom of being uninsured. Oh, and news bulletin: Most doctors have lower prices for the uninsured, and hospitals have financial aid packages. So take your insurance and shove it.

  • Fact

    Fix the following root causes for the Health Care problem, FIRST:
    ———————————————————————————
    (1) Sky rocketing drugs/medicine expenses,
    (2) Unreasonable high insurance premiums
    (3) Unbearable health-care-service/medical expenses
    (4) Huge liability expenses due to people filing law suit against hospital, doctors, pharmaceuticals companies and insurance companies, claiming stupendous thousands and millions of dollars
    (5) Ineffective monitoring and controlling of the practices of hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and pharmaceuticals companies

    This Obamare is not the answer to any of the problem mentioned here. Though a very few folks may see a drop on their insurance premium or get (better) coverage, it is done only by offsetting huge additional cost on to other several folks (healthy and young current insurance policy holders).

    ACA forces the working innocent middle class folks to pay in full a huge premium with high out of pocket deductible and the ACA/Obamcare subsidizes for tax-breakers. This will ONLY help private insurance companies to profit in additional hundreds to thousands of billions, adding trillions to country debt, which will eventually increase tax over working innocent middle class.

    ACA/Obamcare, a huge double blow for innocent middle class folks!

  • Fact

    Seeking help from ‘private’ insurance to fix this ineffective ‘public’ health care system is like requesting a hungry fox to babysit a chicken !

  • UpLateAgain

    I had GREAT insurance for 29 years. Then O-care passed. My insurer cancelled not only my policy, but the policies of everyone that lives in my part of the country. They folded their tent, saying they could not remain profitable under O-care, so they were getting out of the market altogether. Health care insurance became unavailable to me at any price until the exchange opened. But the O-care insurance costs $1271.00/ month with a $2000.00 deductible, and I make enough that I get no subsidies. So I cannot afford it. I’m glad I can’t afford it. That fact takes away the conflict of having to deal with the fact that 1.) Subsidized insurance is my using someone else’s money. It’s not my money. It’s someone else’s. I guess a lot of (maybe most) people have no trouble taking other people’s money when they haven’t earned it. It bother’s h_ll out of me. And if I allow myself to do it, I’ve no doubt I’ll get used to it, and I find that reprehensible. 2.) What the author addresses as his angst at being forced by the government to buy something. I’m an American…. whether or not Obama has a clue as to what that actually means is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. I won’t do it. Period. I wouldn’t do it at gunpoint. I wouldn’t do it if they threatened to send me to prison. I cannot stop them from stealing everything I’ve spent my life earning if that’s what they intend to do, but I will NOT comply with this law under any circumstances. I have been paying my own way since O-care passed, and my insurance was cancelled. I spent about $400.00/ YEAR…. not per month. It would be great if I had the option of just buying catastrophic insurance.

    And for those who are angry that I refuse to comply because they think I’m going to end up using their money if I have to go get treated,,,,, too bad. So far I’ve not used one penny of your money and have no intent of doing so. That notwithstanding, I have NO issues with you feeling bad about what you feel is me threatening to use your money if I get sick. YOU have no issues with forcing me to spend my money on others. As far as I’m concerned, you are perfect hypocrites