A friend of ours owns his own business and has chosen to forgo health insurance for himself. If he gets sick, he intends to pay his own way. Not having health insurance, however, means that our friend must pay an Obamacare fine, or what Chief Justice Roberts calls a tax.
Our friend reports that the IRS refers to the fine as a ‘shared responsibility payment.’ The implication here is that the uninsured party would consume health care resources without paying for them, making himself a parasite on society. Hence the need for a payment to insure some degree of personal responsibility.
Our friend, however, has the means to pay his own way, and he’s not the type of person who would free ride off the labor of others. And yet the law presumes him to be a free-rider and forces him to make the Obamacare payment. Maybe in the event that he incurs a medical liability, he should withhold payment for billed services up to the amount of the ‘shared responsibility’ payment he has already made. Otherwise, wouldn’t he be paying twice?
It surely says something about the inverted morality of the welfare state that it treats our hardworking and thrifty friend as a social deviant to be fined, while respecting those who don’t work and use Medicaid to impose their medical costs on taxpayers.
Of course, it does happen that uninsured people sometimes free ride by failing to pay their medical bills. In fact, preventing that sort of free-riding was one of the major arguments advanced in favor of Obamacare. Free-riding, however, amounts to not much more than two percent of overall health care costs. This two percent loss rate is comparable to the loss rate the retail industry absorbs due to employee theft. For the sake of that relatively minor cost, Obamacare turned the health insurance industry upside down. As with most government entitlement programs, Obamacare was a solution in search of a problem.
Meanwhile, Obamacare insurers are now trying to use the courts to obtain a taxpayer bailout.
In the clown world of big government and leftist ideology, ‘responsibility’ means that citizens who pay their own way are taxed and fined to support individuals and corporations that don’t.