Americans Don’t Want Health Insurance? Since When?

Photo (cc) by Fibonacci Blue

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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100
33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100

A little money goes a long way with these imaginative projects. You can do most of them yourself.

If My Spouse Dies, Can I Get Her Social Security?
If My Spouse Dies, Can I Get Her Social Security?

If a spouse dies, will the survivor collect the other’s share in addition to his or her own?

7 Ways to Save Money Without Trying
7 Ways to Save Money Without Trying

Saving money doesn’t always mean drudgery and sacrifice. These tools make it easy — sometimes even fun.

9 Forgotten Frugal Strategies — and How to Resurrect Them
9 Forgotten Frugal Strategies — and How to Resurrect Them

These time-tested methods can help us live smarter today.

How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

Here’s how to strengthen your nest egg before or even during your golden years so these missteps don’t ruin your retirement.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon

Are you losing money due to any of these missteps?

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?
Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?

Understanding survivors benefits rules is the key to getting the most from your benefit.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

You don’t have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop here.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021
4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021

If you are eligible for these tax breaks, they will slash your federal income tax bill — dollar for dollar.

15 Things You Can Get for Free in December
15 Things You Can Get for Free in December

December is here, which means it’s your last chance to take advantage of fabulous freebies in 2020.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement
7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement

It often makes financial sense to not pay off your mortgage before retiring.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.