.
September 17th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should people be forced to buy health insurance?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

All Americans would be required to buy health insurance - as part of the proposal making its way out of the Senate Finance Committee. Those who don't could face steep fines - up to $3,8000 annually per family or $950 for an individual. People who can't afford their premiums wouldn't be fined.

This is all part of the plan that some see as the best hope for getting some kind of reform through Congress, but the problem is when committee Chairman Max Baucus introduced this thing yesterday, he didn't seem to have much support.

Republicans aren't backing it - saying the plan is still too expensive and intrusive.

And a lot of Democrats are unhappy with the proposal too... some are disappointed it doesn't include a public option, others say it doesn't go far enough to make health insurance affordable for the poor.

Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller is concerned a tax on expensive insurance plans would wind up hurting middle-class workers - especially union members such as coal miners in his state.

And - even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Baucus' proposal isn't good enough for his home state of Nevada. Reid worries his state won't be able to increase Medicaid spending like the bill requires.

Meanwhile a new Gallup poll shows 60-percent of Americans say they don't think the president's health care plan will accomplish what he wants - covering all Americans without raising taxes or lowering the quality of care.

Here’s my question to you: Should people be forced to buy health insurance?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dave from Brooklyn writes:
No one should be forced to buy anything they don’t want to buy. Having said that, I hasten to add that if you choose not to do something for your own good and you get hurt, don’t expect the rest of us to pay for your stupidity and bad luck. If you don’t wear your seat belt, don’t sue me for your injuries. If you don’t have health insurance, don’t go to the emergency room or do so with cash in hand – lots of it.

Julia writes:
Absolutely. As a nurse, I see many, many people who refuse to buy insurance and take care of themselves. They expect everybody else to care for them when they can't be bothered to care for themselves. Enough is enough; it is irresponsible not to have insurance.

William from Los Angeles writes:
No one should be made to do anything that pertains to their own health. The First Amendment gives us the right to be stupid and I have steadfastly held on to that freedom most of my life. Not wanting health insurance is stupid. Making it affordable for all is necessary.

Jeff writes:
There is no way to end restrictions on pre-existing conditions without also mandating coverage. Otherwise, people will simply wait until they are sick before buying coverage.

Jeff from Hawaii writes:
Jack, While forcing people to buy health care sounds like a good idea, without a public option to help drive down premiums, it's just a windfall for the insurance companies. A $950 fine is less than half of what I pay a year for insurance.

Diane writes:
You have a car, you buy car insurance! You have a body, you need to buy insurance! Would you pay for my car repairs? Of course not! So why do you accept paying for my body repair? You know what I mean. It is common sense. In fact, it is a conservative principle: individual responsibility.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (224 Responses)
  1. Gail, Plano,Texas

    In one word Jack, NO! Doesn't the government both federal and state intrude enough on our supposed liberties? I knew the day the seat belt law went into effect, that government was taking away my right to choose. And who is this Max Baucus? Talk about wasting tax layers money! To come up with a stupid bill like he did.
    I love Barack Obama. I voted for him. But this is not the change he promised. Hard to get anything done with the party of NO and his blue dog democrats.

    September 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  2. Allene McComb

    Yes, they should. But ONLY if there is a public option available and ONLY if there are adequate subsidies for those who cannot afford the premiums. Otherwise health care reform which mandates that everyone purchase health insurance is simply another government bonanza for insurance companies and their grossly overpaid top executives.

    September 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  3. Bob

    The ones who can afford it should be required to buy.

    However Government provided insurance would have to be an option. Otherwise private health insurance carriers would have a market made up of cumpulsory buyers to expolit.

    September 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  4. Joanne from Medina

    I don't like the iidea of forcing people to buy health insurance and fining them if they don't. It sounds sooo undemocratic. There's got to be a better way

    September 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  5. Lucy

    Why should we be forced to buy something if we don't want it? What if you just, never get sick? True, you're taking a risk if you don't buy health insurance, but it should be your risk to take. What's the reasoning behind forcing people to buy health insurance? If the answer is money, it just speaks even more to governmental greed, something I absolutely do not support...they're supposed to be public SERVANTS.
    Lucy
    SF, CA

    September 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  6. SteveG, IN

    No, and we shouldn't be forced to buy auto insurance. I've been paying for it 25 years and never made a claim.

    Yesterday you had a debate between Canadian and Wyoming Senators, when pressed, the Wyoming Senator said he is in a GOVERNMENT optional plan where he can choose who insures him, he chose Blue Cross, why is he blocking a plan that would allow ALL Americans to have the same option???

    September 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  7. Joyce Kamara

    Jack,
    First let me say, " You are the man!"
    Now, telll me why we cannot have the same insurance that the government employees have?
    My granddaughter wouldn't be able to afford insurance, as of now she doesn't have any, nor my daughter. This doesn't go down well.
    Another thing, we have thousands of doctors here from other countries,
    that are doctors, that are citizens of the US, tax payin, etc. working for min. wage.
    They are struggling with the USMLE, so that they can practice, But, it hard
    working and trying to study for this test.
    Why can't we design a program so they can practice, and study for their test? It would free thousands of jobs, factory, cashier,cabs, etc.
    These doctors have been in school most of their lives ,18 or more years, and they come here, and they cannot practice as doctors? What wrong with are system..............
    Joyce K.....Lancaster, Pa.
    What happens to people, like me, that have breast cancer Jack?

    September 17, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  8. j/n

    Should people be forced to buy health insurance?

    Absolutely not, no American citizen should, under any circumstances, be forced to buy into anything...forget about socialism, this egregious argument represents institutional fascism at its worst...nevertheless Congress will pass it, the people will submit as they always do, and as a result the Government by stealth and proxy becomes more controlling, more authoritarian, and more empowered...

    September 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  9. SteveG, IN

    Oh, without a gov't option what will keep premiums down? Good faith of the insurers?

    September 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  10. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    No, employers should be forced to provide it through a payroll tax that can be offset dollar for dollar by a capped health care credit, both of which could be adjusted for medical inflation – although not necessarily the entire amount of such inflation so as to try to get costs under control.

    September 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  11. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    There will ALWAYS be problems with any proposals about health insurance.

    First, people who refuse to pay for health insurance MUST MUST MUST be refused care at emergency rooms! Those visits are killing the taxpayers who have to pay for emergency room visits.

    Second, we NEED a public option. If we don't get one, we have more back in the emergency rooms.

    Third, the $14,000 for a single person low end income to qualify for Medicaid is ridiculous, it needs to be higher. After taxes people earning that much can't possibly afford to make ANY medical premiums! God grief, rent takes up most of that person's income!

    Give me a break!

    September 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  12. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    of course not, Jack.

    the house and senate SHOULD be working on a "Medicare for All" government single payer plan which would be REAL medical insurance reform and might actually get health care costs under control in this country.

    I think Max "Bogus" Baucas's bill is a side ways bail out for him and his "committee" because NO one in the Senate can support it. probably not even him. as one former health insurance executive turned wistle blower stated to congress, "if they pass this it should be the health insurance industry profit protection and enhancement act"

    September 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  13. Dee in Palm Coast

    I think insurance should be REALLY affordable, and based on a person's ability to pay. What would be fair for someone making the national average salary would NOT be fair for someone working at a minimum wage job!

    And the figure mentioned in your question would actually be a reduction for MANY people. I know someone who is paying about $100 per week to cover himself, his wife and their two children (the average American family)

    So, if he only had to pay $3,800 per year, you can see that would be a REDUCTION of $1,400 per year! What's wrong with that.

    Of course, the coverage he has is really not great, with a HUGE deductible , co pays and such. We can only hope that if buying insurance becomes mandatory, it will at least provide decent benefits!

    And, what about the millions who are not working,, and those who do work, but at the lowest paying jobs? How could they even afford to buy insurance. THAT'S the problem we have now. Making purchasing insurance mandatory would NEVER solve the problem for those who cannot afford even the lowest premiums.

    Making insurance purchasing mandatory is not the fix we need. But of course it is the fix the insurance companies would really like to see. And they are apparently pulling the strings!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  14. Bill from pa

    No, a basic form of health care should be free to every taxpaying American CITIZEN. rather than spending their time responding to this question, they'd be better off telling their congress-folk they demand a single payer system like medicare with amendments that would make them keep them from stealin from it like they did from medicare. I'm 72 by the way.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  15. andyzag Lynn, MA

    If there is truley a universal health care plan with everyone being able to have coverage, then they should be forced to pay out of pocket. No more third worlders visiting emergency rooms on my dime, no more people gaming the system. Either they have health care insurance, or they pay or no health care. Simple.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  16. Teresa from Spokane

    If i drive; I have insurance. If i own a house; I have homeowners insurance. If i work; I have ss insurance, L&I taken out of my check. So if i expect to be covered when i need medical attention; I NEED TO BE AN IMMIGRANT; or ILLEGAL ALIEN!!!???
    I went to the emergency room over a year ago; and I'm still trying to repay my $3500 bill. If i didn't have a social security #, or if i didn't speak english; i wouldn't have to worry about it.

    That's what i worry about; all of us who are legal, law-abiding, taxpaying, working citizens; will still be paying for ILLEGALS.

    If i were in jail; i wouldn't have to repay my hospital bill, either; there are TOO MANY PROBLEMS IN OUR SYSTEM!

    What about the TRILLIONS that are spent on criminals and their "attourney fees"?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  17. Jayne

    No. People should, as a right, be guaranteed health care. The most fiscally-responsible model of delivery is the "single payer" plan. Sadly, the insurance industry sends sacks of gold to our lawmakers to prevent us from having that.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  18. Don (Ottawa)

    No! This is a crazy proposal. The whole point of health care reform is to get everybody insured. What this does is force everybody to buy insurance and takes money from the insurance companies to pay for reform. This will force many insurers to either drop out as a provider or lower their services. It won't make insurance any more affordable than it is now and for sure opposition for such a plan will skyrocket. The best way to kill health care reform is to introduce a plan such as this.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  19. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack no mater what congress does Americans will be forced to pay for health insurance. It is just a mater of who's insurance they are forced to pay for. The poor can not afford insurance and the illegal aliens will not be allowed to have it so no mater what we do those with insurance or assets will be required to pay for those without. This new healthcare bill creates more problems then it solves. If congress wants to insure 50 million people without insurance let them use Medicare. Poof they are covered by a system that is already in place at the cheapest possible coverage that the government can give them. If you don't believe me just ask congress they are already claiming that.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  20. Cameron in SF, CA

    Absolutely not! I live in CA and even though we have earthquakes we are not required to buy earthquake insurance beyond the typical homeowner's insurance. It is recommended but it is a risk I am willing to take as the premiums are sky high. I'd rather be able to put food on the table rather than protect my home from something that may or may not happen. It's all about choices – my choices; not the governments.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  21. Ray L

    Sure, as we're turning away from a democracy as it is, so let's push on with government-mandated programs at all costs.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  22. Sandra Lynn

    I guess I just don't know. I don't understand this and I suspect neither does anyone else! Being the trusting and naive person I am, I'll put it in Obama's hands and let him proceed. He knows a hell of a lot more about it than I do, and he's a damn good man!

    Sandra,
    Athens, Ohio

    September 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  23. EBJ in Metro Houston

    no Jack I don't think a person should be forced to buy health insurance anymore than I think one should be forced to wear seat belts to protect their own lives. If they choose to go uncovered then that should be up to them, BUT don't expect the taxpayers to pay for it if you ever need it.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  24. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, this seems pretty desperate, but if they can afford the insurance they should get it. Of, if they could have afforded insurance they should have to pay any medical bill they incur.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  25. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    No one should be forced to buy anything they don’t want to buy. Having said that, I hasten to add that if you choose not to do something for your own good and you get hurt, don’t expect the rest of us to pay for your stupidity and bad luck. If you don’t wear your seat belt, don’t sue me for your injuries. If you don’t have health insurance, don’t go to the emergency room or do so with cash in hand – lots of it. I have to pay for all of my mistakes (and those of a few billionaires at AIG et.al.) but I’m getting I’m tired of paying for everyone’s mistakes in addition to my own – no one cut me any breaks.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  26. Linda in Arizona

    First Baucus, with the White House's secret backing, eliminates the public option, which is the only thing that would have provided any competition to the industry, THEN they make buying insurance at whatever non-competitive price the industry dreams up a requirement, and non-compliance punishable by large fines. Of course, THAT'S fair. Baucus and the so-called Gang of Six are deeply indebted to the insurance and health care lobbies. Obama is a sellout. This sham of a reform bill needs to be defeated. Let's start over with single-payer universal coverage, Medicare for All. This isn't a plan, it's a scam.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  27. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    No, but if they don't they are dumber than posts. Without insurance it's almost impossible to get a primary health care Dr. which equates to preventive medicine. Emergency care is just that, and sometimes that equates to, too late Charlie. Most Americans have no idea of the impact of non-insured people. The cost is astronomical and there is no end in sight without a reform.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  28. Ada/Toxey, Alabama

    Yes Jack, I think everyone should be required to buy health insurance, although some will truly be unable to buy it. How will they know who can and who cannot aford to pay for it? There are people jack that are considered poor but take their money to the casino and leave it there. Can they pay for health insurance? I think so.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  29. DJ in Denver

    yeah force me, then jail me it's a career choice right now in my life.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  30. Schyular Phillips

    How can they just force people to have insurance.We will just see if these people are back in 2010.Not if I have anything to do with it.People won't put up with being forced!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  31. Ron Lambert

    Jack,

    I dont agree that people should be forced to purchase health insurance, And I am curious if the fines are less than the cost of insurance or not. If they are about the same then people who dont get health insurance are paying for it without getting benefits. Thats the sort of political mumbo jumbo people are upset about.

    I think Obamas administration should abandon bipartisanship and pass universal health care with a strong public option. republicans be dammed for getting us into this mess. The least they could do is stay out of the way while we fix it.

    Ron – Miami FL.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  32. John Mertz

    Absolutely. We require insurance to be able to drive a car.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  33. devon

    yes, people should-at least for their children. I have to buy car/home insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  34. Mark from Boston

    In a perfect world ABSOLUTELY NOT!

    But in a world of irresponsibility where you and I have to:
    – pay for others who CAN afford to do so, but choose not to.
    – pay taxes for schools when we don't have children.
    – pay for roads if we don't have a car.
    – pay for others overconsumption of food, alcohol, tobacco.
    Etc...

    ABSOLUTELY!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  35. julia

    Absolutely, as a nurse I see many many people who refuse to buy insurance and take care of themselves. They expect everybody else to care for them when they can't be bothered to care for themselves. Enough is enough, it is irresponsible not to have insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  36. Pete

    Yes, only if all for-profit health insurance companies are forced out of business, or go non-profit.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  37. Amy, New York

    This proposal proves my theory: congress is filled with morons and idiots. I'm sorry that insults morons and idiots. This proposal screws the very people who need help in this country, the working poor and what's left of the middle class. Leave it up to the federal government to create a proposal which makes the situation worse.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  38. CJ in Roanoke, VA

    No, the gov't needs to get out of the healthcare business. There is nothing in the Constitution that says anything about the gov't providing healthcare for people. Medicare and Medicaid are failures of epic proportion. Besides, who is to say that people are going to be able to afford the gov't ins. I know people who are loosing everything they have worked years for because of the economy coming apart at the seams.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  39. Bob in Florida

    In a word, NO. The insurance companies take 30% right off the top. Why are we letting these theives get away with this?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  40. Shawn C of WV

    The answer is simple Jack. No. I voted for Obama for a variety of reasons over Hillary in the Dem Primary and one of the biggest was the fact that Obama said his health care plans DID NOT force anyone to buy health insurance like Hillary's plans did. This was one of the biggest issues I cared about then and it's the biggest one I care about now. I'm a college student and college students shouldn't be forced to buy because we're already broke as it is...

    September 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  41. Chris

    Isn't this a free country? Why should we be forced to pay a thing? It's my choice to buy what I want, when I want it. This is just another instance of how the Obama administration wants to take our choices away from us. In other words, they want more government control. Does that surprise anyone?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  42. STEWART

    my view of the constitution is I dont have to anything I dont want to, (see 5th amendment? )including being compelled to have health insurance, I support Obama, on this nuance how ever we part company

    September 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  43. Jeff Goodwin

    There is no way to end restrictions on pre-existing conditions without also mandating coverage. Otherwise, people will simply wait until they are sick before buying coverage.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  44. JWC in Atlanta

    Health insurance deduction, 13 percent, SS dedection, 15 percent, federal tax, 27 percent, state tax, 6 percent, county tax 5 percent, and medicaid deduction, 4 percent. I suppose if the people can live on 40 percent of what's left of their paycheck, less sales tax, ad valorem taxes and use taxes, we should be happy. After all, weren't serfs of the middle ages happy while paying the lords off in this same fashion?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  45. Matt Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Jack,

    Unless the government charges more than the cost of insurance for employers who don't insure their employees there we will end up with a single payer system. It costs $5,000 to insure one person and we're going to fine the employer $3,800 if they don't insure their employee? An idiot can make that financial decision. Who honestly thinks that we aren't going to have 100 million people on the public option not 13 million?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  46. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    Well, forcing people (I assume you mean American taxpayers, not illegals or those undocumented of course) is becoming fairly common from local, state and federalGovernmental levels. I invision a health csar creating the HRS, the Health Revenue Service, which will have the mandate of creating a Health Code Book of many many pages in order to fairly force the peoples to do the right thing as the government sees fit, in the absence of input from local town meetings and regardless of vote count when allowed. All this will cost even more money to set up the program, the bureaucracy, and the proper infusion of nepotism to make it all work.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  47. joseph common

    KIDDING? Don't criminal gangs around the world force store owners to pay insurance with threats of repurcussion? That's called EXTORSION, isn't it?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  48. James Bruce

    No! If they made it affordable enough most responsible people would. The ones that don't should have there wages garnished to pay for it. The ones not working they or their parent or spouse should have to do public service in the comunity were they live.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  49. Muhammed J. Bawany

    No insurance should not be forced on people rather it should be made easy and affordable so that everyone willingly take insurance. Its not that people intentionally don't want to buy insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  50. Ken, Beaverton, MI

    No. Use the BIG Savings that Obama is proclaiming from his bully pulpit, to fund the unisured. And, why when he can't sell ObamaCare because of the COST so now we're going to gather up all these fantasy SAVINGS. Come on. Also, why is he holding up on Cash for Clunkers reimbursement to dealerships who've been waiting for $300,000-$600,000 payback for Obama Administration? They should have been paid within 10 days of filing a claim, not 2 months. They've had to get 30-day no interest loans to operate their businesses and the 30 days are up. Why should small business (dealerships) get screwed again by DC politicians. Oh, I guess, they want the government to take over that business as well.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  51. tony bennett in SC

    No they should not be forced to, but if they can afford to and don't then they should have to pay for any and all care they get, no exceptions.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  52. Bill

    Those that choose not to buy can be shipped to some country that has no health care for someone else to support. I think the middle class has had with paying all for the poor.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Tina Tx

    No. This is the sinking boat that most of us are already in. Just scrap the whole lot and we will continue going to the ER on the taxpayers money. They don't want to fix it so we will continue to be a burr in their backsides.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  54. Ruilt

    Thats the problem Jack, Not many can afford it, especially right now with so many out of work/looking for work. They should scrap the baucus plan and go back to the public option that'd basically be the walmart of health insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  55. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I think we do not have an option with the Free Enterprise controlling the market. Being left out for the sake of free enterprise is not a joke.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  56. N Russo

    Are they insane?! What part of this proposal do they think is any better than everything else we have or had? Now they want to force us to pay! What planet do they live on?!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  57. Troy

    Yes!! Just like car insurance, if you don't pay for it, WE have to pay for it! Everyone needs health insurance!!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  58. Peter Gozinya

    We need equal health care for everyone-the doctors who want a new Porsche don't think so; but come on; this is America and we are ALL equal; except the doctors. Let us not allow them to hose us anymore.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  59. Martin

    Well, let's see.... Buy Health Care. It walks like a tax, it talks like a tax and it smells like a tax. But we're not going to raise taxes, right?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  60. Dan in Texas

    NO, I don't think you should be forced to – but there should be some tax incentive for doing so.

    However, YES, I believe there SHOULD be a PUBLIC OPTION – to encourage competition and lower insurance premiums.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  61. monica von berndt

    JEROME IDAHO forced to buy medical insurance is just another way of government control BUT IT SHOULD BE AVAILABLE AT A PRICE WE CAN ALL AFORDwe need public option to finally be able to have some honest competition I'M ALL FOR pRESIDENT OBAMA'S HEALTHCARE REFORM PLAN

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  62. Eva

    Yes, I think everyone should have health care but it has to be on a person's income and not take away from other things such as food, housing etc. We are paying for people now who go to the emergency room and cannot pay or do not pay the bill so everyone should pay if possible.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  63. Danny Paz

    The only way that any plan works is if all healthy people join in with all of the sick people, which would in turn lower the risk of the overall pool. If only the sick people join, and the insurance companies must cover them, prices will skyrocket or insurance companies will go broke. Either all must buy insurance, or we have a single-payer system that covers all (healthy and sick) which, in effect, will accomplish the same thing.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  64. Connie

    In plain english, NO!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  65. John

    This health care bill is nothing more than a giveaway to the private health insurance companies. Middle class people are forced to purchase private insurance without a public option to keep costs from rising.

    It is sad that instead of reform we get another example of how lobbyists control Washington.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  66. James

    If there is no public plan? No. Because now you will just be forcing people into the system that is broken. and right now im sure no one has the money to throw away.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  67. Earl

    No! In a free society mandates come from the people not the elected.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  68. Don Parker

    I don't understand why people seem to have no problem with a requirement to buy auto insurance, which I believe is the law in every state, but seem to feel it's un-American to require health insurance. The only reason this kind of revolt didn't happen with the requirement to buy auto insurance is because it was on a state-by-state basis. If any President had tried to require auto insurance nationally, it would have been met with the same furor. But auto insurers are all doing fine and no one cries that's socialist, do they?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  69. hixsin

    No, no, no.
    I'm forced to pay for auto insurance, I can't even list how many differnet forms of auto insurance I've had, none of them pay out as stipulated, and they stick it to me in higher premiums to re-coup past pay outs.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  70. Ken in NC

    NO. Hmmm did I say NO? OK I got it right. You can't get blood out of a turnip. Besides I cooked the turnip last month.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  71. Phil DesMarteau

    Yes.All should be required so that all will be covered. the poor certainly cannot afford coverage, but with all those who can paying the poor willget coverage. Just like with Medicare.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  72. Gabe Slam

    Should people be forced to buy car insurance?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  73. Gary W

    Absolutely, Jack, but ONLY if there is an affordable public option or extreme regulation of insurance companies. Forcing people to buy insurance without these safeguards would be a windfall for the insurance companies. But the idea that everyone should be required to purchase insurance is a good one. Imagine what car insurance would cost if the insurance company only insured bad drivers! We need young, healthy people to provide a better pool of the insured to keep down costs. After all, the purpose of insurance is to spread the risk. There will be moaning and groaning about the young, but they won't be young forever. Someday they'll thank us.

    Gary W
    Youngstown, OH

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  74. internetfreepress.com

    I AM A DEMOCRAT
    But, what is the point in electing more democrats in 2010 if
    the devil damn democrats we now have do not have the guts
    to pass some kind of health-care bill; and maybe we should be
    thinking Clinton for 2012. Just trying is not good enough, Mr. President.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  75. Paul Hatfield

    I'm not sure Jack, remember when laws were passed for all drivers to carry liability insurance on their cars? The theory, at least according to lawmakers, was that if everyone had to have insurance, the costs would go down. Now let me ask you Jack, when was the last time ANYones' rates went down??
    Paul H. Midland TX

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  76. Kunal

    I support the idea for a national health care plan. However, I DO NOT SUPPORT the idea that those who don't take the plan should have to pay extra money as a penalty. Just because they already have a insurance plan that they are happy with and don't want a government plan, doesn't mean that they have to pay a fine for choosing something better for themselves. I don't think it's right for my parents or just about anyone to have to pay up to $3800 a year just because they're not accepting a substandard and not at patient-friendly plan from the government. So much for us having the freedom to choose...

    September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  77. Joy-Texas

    Jack
    I think that health insurance is, at the very least, as important as car insurance...I am required to have coverage on my car and I pay about $850 a year for it.. I believe that everybody should have Insurance coverage, no matter if its for their car or their person...unfortunately the insurance companies always come out ahead, so I think a non-profit group insurance plan should be adopted, so as to help make insurance more affordable...for everybody

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  78. Brant

    We all should be required to have health insurance. Everyone is fine with the notion that car insurance is required because that's important, what if I get into a wreck? But it seems that people generally tend to feel differently when it comes to their health and that everything will be ok without coverage. Those "indestructable" people don't seem to realize that when they are uncovered and something big does come up and they go to the emergency room, the bill is distributed amongst us all, contributing to rising costs. Atleast this way, people can be accountable for their health instead of everybody else when they take advantage of emergency room ethics by not turning anyone away.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  79. John Montgomery

    No. Families should have the option to buy into a public program. Forcing people to purchase overpriced, private insurance, or penalizing them for not doing so, is absurd. The Baucus Plan could have been written by the Health Care Industry.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  80. Cliff English

    A Resounding NO. If I had 3800.00 to spend of health care I would already have it. I don't earn congressman wages. I am a honest hard working man with 4 children supporting my family by myself. I have worked since I was 14 years old and I still don't have enough to afford this. This is another case of people with money having no idea what earning a living means.If we have dinner every night during the week it was a good week.
    Thanks Mr. President but NO THANKS.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  81. Brad (San Diego, CA)

    Yes, they should. The only other "fair" option would be for those who refuse to purchase insurance to give up the right to free emergency medical service. A 20-something-year-old may think he or she does not need insurance because they are healthy. But if they are in a serious car accident, they don't want to be left to die on the street because they don't have insurance to pay for the emergency medical services necessary to save their lives. Since we as a society are not and should not be ready to let people die because of a lack of insurance, it is only fair that those able to afford it be required to purchase insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  82. Roody Donais

    Hell no, it’s supposed to be free for all. However, I am I’ll be agree to pay more taxes instead.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  83. Kim - Blair, NE

    Everyone should have insurance whether they can afford to or not. Please note I did not say be forced to buy it.

    The Baucus bill is an absolute 'dream come true' for the insurance companies. It is so bad that I think it might pull a few of the Dems who have been dragging their feet back toward any one of the other bills floating around that does have a public option.

    Baucus must surely be expecting a huge bonus from one of the major insurance groups out there.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  84. Kevin Heairet

    Jack....I've always thought the insurance companies were evil! Playing on peoples fears to make billions of dollars! Now the goverment is gonna force us to buy into their programs. Where's the freedom in this move?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  85. Sibylle Johnson

    Well, that would be a dream come true for the health insurance companies – that we all would be FORCED to buy health insurance at the rates they dictate. Without assuring that health insurance is available at affordable rates, this stipulation is outrageous. It seems clear that the lobbyists are getting their money's worth. Sibylle Johnson from Fort Lauderdale, FL.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  86. Michael Odegard (PDX, OR)

    If people get forced to pay for insurance then I expect America will become an increasingly violent place to live, as more and more Americans struggle to simply make rent and buy food. The division of wealth in this Country is so ignoble and without logic–I think the founding fathers would agree–there needs to be a violent revolution and overthrow of the US government. To talk about mandating health care taxes before the American business model is reformed, is the death wish of the aristocracy.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  87. Kathy

    While I feel it is important to make affordable health insurance available to ALL Americans, I am opposed to forcing people to buy it. If, however, an individual opts not to purchase insurance, they should have to show that they can pay the full amount for emergency room visits and any other medical care they may require.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  88. Katrina

    Jack, regarding healthcare. Don't you think if we tackled one aspect of healthcare reform at a time, that lawmakers could come to more of a consensus on each issue and have time for input from constituents? It's such a complicated matter, and this bill will be a monstrosity. Break it down into individual bills on each aspect, and have a civil discussion. Sorry, not really answering your question, but this is what's on my mind! Always enjoy you on the show Jack.
    Regards,Katrina in Lexington, Kentucky

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  89. Rudy Haugeneder, Victoria, Canada

    Adult Canadians pay a small monthly premium for our universal health care coverage, unless you are too poor to pay. A similar program should be part of U.S. health care. As for being forced to pay private health insurance premiums: are you crazy?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  90. L. M. Gibbs

    NO. People still need freedom of choice and it is horrible to fine people for not purchasing. I am living on a retirement income and as costs spiral out of control, why should I be forced and fined to buy insurance. Someone in Congress is living in LalaLand.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  91. Bernadine

    Yes. If everyone has to contribute not only would the pool balance high-cost medical expenses, but it would cover unexpected costs of those young people who don't feel they need it. Rather than using highly expensive emergency rooms, they can use their own doctor at a much lower cost.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  92. CK Honolulu

    Yes, You NEVER know when something catastrophic could happen. If you present to an emegency room, the hospitals is required by law to treat life threatening illnesses/injuries regardless of your insurance. That hospital bill will be thousands of dollars and if you have no insurance, it's YOUR liability.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  93. Jerry

    Yes. Unfortunately, this is a key piece of the puzzle. It is unfair to require insurance companies to insure all comers if consumers are permitted to wait until they need treatment before they seek coverage.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  94. Carol from Michigan

    jack,

    Baccus's plan is a wind fall for the insurance companies, once again throwing the middle class under the bus. I not sure Baccus is a Dem.
    We need the public option so there is some kind of price competion.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  95. Andrew Gauthe

    No, in a true democracy we would all have a vote in this matter. Too bad with all this negative propaganda out there most americans have no true idea how this could work.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  96. dave nashville

    Why hasn't anyone from the media commented on the presidents response to if healthcare reform passes? He said he planned on being president a long time and if it passes, 'I OWN IT'....I voted for him, but that statement scares me. And no, no one should be forced to but.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  97. Tom Lowry, Western Springs, Illinois

    Jack, yes everyone should be forced to purchase health insurance. However, none of the bills presented change the fact that there are not enough doctors in this country. I see the potential for rationed healthcare and people still going to the ER for a sniffle, because they can't see a doctor quickly enough.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  98. Ronald

    I am 22 living in San Diego, CA. If someone told me that i had to buy health insurance i would not do it no matter what. Living at home for free with no bills i dont plan on anyone telling me what I need to pay for. I rather die then pay a penny for anything i dont want. My Money is mine and i'll do what i want with it. Fine us for not paying our money? Just take it out of my tax's like all the other money you take from us.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  99. Greg, Ontario

    Yes Jack. Health care is the kind of thing where either everyone is on board or it doesn't work. Why is it you guys never ask why health acre is so expensive that you need a plan to begin with? You get the hospitals to charge a decent price then you could force the insurance companies to charge a decent price. Sense that is not possible a government plan is the only way to protect everyone.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  100. Doug

    Everyone should NOT be required to buy health care. If you're wealthy and healthy enough that it benefits you to just pay when you get sick, that's what you should be able to do, without fines. To me, that's just against American principals.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  101. Kris Craig in Olympia, WA

    President Obama PROMISED us repeatedly during the campaign that he would not stand for this! He reminded everyone that those of us who don't have health insurance aren't buying coverage because we can't afford it, not because we don't want it. Now he's completely changed his tune. I can't afford health coverage, and I resent being categorically referred to as a "dare devil" as a means of belittling this fact. Have you ever gone to the emergency room for routine care, Jack? I can tell you, as someone who has far too many times, that in and of itself is incentive enough to buy health insurance if it's affordable. A fine would only make a bad situation even worse for me. I have never felt so betrayed in my life. I never would've supported Obama in the primaries if I'd known then that he would so easily break his word and feed us to the dogs just so he can get his bill passed.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  102. Dan (Minneapolis)

    Yes, through taxes in a single payer system. It is the best solution. All other bills are half attempts to make enough people happy. Bipartisanship is pointless on this issue in the current climate. Congress is more concerned about their party, seat and corporate investors, than the American people. If Capitol Hill were working for the people we would already have a single payer system. So maybe we shouldn't be forced to buy, but forced to invest in a system that is best for this country.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  103. Scotty

    we should ONLY be required to purchase health insurance IF and ONLY IF there is an affordable plan available, ie, the public option. You can't force everyone to buy something they can't afford. It's like making everyone purchase an expensive car. A better idea would be to bring competition into the marketplace by breaking up the big health insurance companies into smaller pieces and let Anthem #1 compete with Anthem #2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 for customers.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  104. Emma, San Luis Obispo,CA

    ONLY if we have a public option to keep the prices affordable. Otherwise we will be forced to line the pockets of Wall Street CEO's.
    Every other nation in the world who provides single payer healthcare charges citizens by raising taxes, but they are guaranteed healthcare for all their citizens. I would buy insurance if I knew the insurance companies weren't going to rip me off and deny me coverage when I needed it. We need reform and lower costs, without this, it would just be another bail out for Wall Street. Listen to Wendell Potter's testimony before Congress.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  105. Santorini

    As long as every one is given an opportunity to buy an affordable plan, I think mandatory insurance is fine. I suggest that Americans look beyond their borders like in Canada. There, health insurance is mandatory, universal and affordable. Why don't American follow the Canadians example this time ?

    Santorini
    Montreal, Quebec,
    Canada.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  106. rich c, long island

    I can't think of any other law that mandates anyone in our free society to HAVE or buy something or be fined. What's next we all must but a Chevy because we own the company?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  107. jim Blevins

    No, but given that, at least for now, we will continue using Insurance companies - yes. Everyone should be guaranteed health care. It would have been nice if America had realized this from day one and simply included the cost in taxes. Given that insurance companies have inserted themselves in the middle of health care, the only fair way to insure universal coverage is to require that everyone has insurance.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  108. Jay - McCaysville, Georgia

    In order to have universal coverage, you must have mandatory participation to have a large enough pool to spread the risk otherwise you end up with only sick people buying in. The best way to have universal coverage is to get rid of all the insurance companies and have mandatory coverage for all. Then you could charge $97/month per person just like us old people pay for Medicare but we could re-fund and replenish Medicare if we had mandatory participation for all people regardless of age and at the same time offer cheap affordable coverage for all.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  109. Pat Vaughn

    Yes, they should be required to buy into health care, but not the Baucus way. The "uninsured" are gambling their lives daily while the rich, comfy alley cats in Washington play their power games. President Obama should Immediately open Medicare to ALL uninsured citizens, charging a flat 5% of their GROSS income to pay their way. ( Even those making $10,000.00 a year can afford to pay $500.00 for their health care.) An "Executive Order" could be made today ! If the insured folks want to continue what seems to be a Southern tradition, protesting against their own best interests.. let them learn the hard way.

    Pat Crossville, TN

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  110. Tim in Texas

    Imagine what would happen if we say that Insurance companies have to cover pre-existing conditions without mandating coverage. I 'm self-employed. If I know an Insurance Company can't deny me coverage for a pre-existing condition, then I would drop my insurance. It would be much cheaper for me to pay for doctor visits and if I got really sick, I'd buy insurance then. It would jack up rates for everybody. But, if we are going to mandate that people buy insurance, then we have to provide some subsidies for those who can't afford it. That's why we need a public option. Otherwise, we'll pay way more in subsidies because part of our taxes will be going to Insurance Companies costs for advertising, executive salaries, and lobbying. I really don't want my tax dollar going into the million dollar a day lobbying efforts of the Insurance Companies.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  111. Bob Holmes

    What does this have to do with making healthcare or insurance more available and less expensive? Who gets to decide who can afford insurance or not? How will such a fundamentally negative plan be administered and how much will it cost? All the key issues of health care reform – cost, quality, availability – have been largely lost. If people could afford healthcare, they'd buy it! We don't need another Federal law to simply redistribute my money! This is a BAD bill – I wonder if any Senators will read it, or maybe just their mail! If so, in either case, this proposal will collapse of its own weight. Let's get real and have a genuine, bi-partisan effort (not a law) to reduce cost, increase quality and expand coverage!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  112. jeff davis

    Yes,as it's the only
    Way to fairly spread
    Risk. If a healthy 25
    Year old chooses not
    To purchase coverage
    And is severely injured
    I don't have the option
    Of paying the millions
    Of dollars for his care

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  113. M. T.

    Wouldn't say it’s a good thing, wouldn't say it’s a bad thing. But here in Massachusetts we are required to have it and thank God for it. A friend of mine who wasn't insured before, and was very much against being forced to get it, was recently diagnosed with Cancer and now has the coverage he needs for his treatment.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  114. Barbara in NC

    If people can't afford the basics, maybe they should downsize:

    Cable back to just basics – who needs all the extras included in those packages that cost $100+ per month?

    Cell phones back to just talking – since when is texting a necessity? Actually, when did cell phones become a necessity?

    Vehicles – do you really need all those Escalades and sports cars? How about one Hybrid per family for around town (they're nice for trips too, since mid-size comfort now supports hybrid vehivles)

    Clothing allowance – when is it necessary to have a $500 suit to keep you from being naked? When do you need 100 outfits? Or 50? Geeeeesh

    Entertainment – Three movies a week with popcorn – what a waste – rent Netflix or some other, and the microwave works fine for popcorn.
    (I don't even own a microwave – go figure). I don't like theaters – they have more germs than doctor's offices (where people go ONLY when they're sick).

    On and On – you pick your own things to cut down 80 or 90 or 100+ per month. Then multiply that by 12 (one year) or 120 (10 years of savings).

    September 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  115. george charles paree

    I understand they want everone to buy to save money .This is not some thing I have the money to do .I think while I was young I could have done but know 70 years old I cant This president I dont understand he wants things I not sure any one else does.I like his idea about credit card companys having some rules. Anderson In,

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  116. Bob In Florida

    ABSOLUTELY NOT, IF there is NO EMPHASIS on reduced costs all around the healthcare industry. The Buacus bill IS NOT healthcare reform, it IS an insurance winfall bill. Healthcare costs will "double" in five years with this bill, not the ten years Obama predicted.

    It is the same for eliminating the "across state lines" insurance scam. IF insurance companies are allowed to usurp state insurance restrictions, healthcare insurance costs WILL GO the same way as Credit Card reform of the late seventies. That is why credit card companies can charge AS MUCH AS THEY WANT and states CANNOT enforce consumer protection laws! Greed and corruption still abounds!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  117. robert

    Jack
    I will pay the fine . I think that is the only Government option we will get.
    robert

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  118. Robert Blackwell

    While I understand the reasons for this, I do not feel it is right to force people to buy it...That is not American! Big Brotherism needs to be checked. I believe in health reform. I would like to see a national health plan, but not anything mandatory.
    I compared this to mandatory auto insurance. No state to the best of my knowledge requires collision or comprehensive, but they all require some form of liability. This argument will likely not affect me. I and my wife live on social security disability and both use medicaid. Which is public and in most cases works fine. I do not feel that the mandatory thing will pass the house anyway.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  119. Saundra Miller

    Yes, Americans who can afford health insurance ought to buy it as a requirement. Look we need universal healthcare, and we need to stop the "fear-mongers talk", and the speculation of "what will or will not be." We need to do SOMETHING- anything, then if it's not right at least we have something to work on to correct. If our economy is born and thriving on the backs of the middle class–then so be it! It is the way that it is! Don't be surprised about this middle america.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  120. James

    Jack ,I dont wanna be forced to buy health insurance nor should anyone else.What i would be willing to do is pay more taxes so i and everyone else can have health insurance.It's the right thing to do,its the American thing to do.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  121. Byron Carlon

    Jack, this is Crazy, Sick and Wrong. This is nothing but sucking $ out of us and giving it to the insurance industry. If they want to cut cost, why do not they cut the pay of nurses and everyone else in the industry. I was a nurse. I saw the unbalanced pay for work that nurses get and so decided not to steal from my community. I'm now an engineer, and every job I have had they demand that I cut my pay and pay for my own insurance. I know it was my mistake not to steal from my community in order to raise my standard of living, but I have morals and live my life ethically.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  122. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    The only viable solution is a single payer system, like most CIVILIZED countries have. An alternative is tighly regulated insurance industry, like some Scandanavian places have.
    Yhe current system of laisse faire is like the mega-trusts and robber barons of the 19th century.
    It is well past time for drastic change

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  123. Jay in Canada

    Absolutely not. Why stop there? Why not force people without cars to buy car insurance? If the government wants everyone to pay for health care, it’s pretty simple; everyone pays with his or her taxes, and you go to a single payer system, and you catch up with the rest of the civilized world. Legally forcing people to pay their hard-earned money to help line the pockets of greedy for-profit insurance companies? Only in America.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  124. Boyd, Reedsburg, WI

    NO! Insurance companies are not the generous benefactor they want you to think they are. They are a multi-headed corporate monster that is currently gobbling up a full sixth of the American economy by standing between Americans and the health care they need. Forcing people to buy their product only makes the situation worse. This is not a compromise, it is a thinly-veiled surrender offered up by paid-off traitors.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  125. Ian Wulff

    What a concept. Insure everybody by making it illegal to not buy. Why not just make it illegal to get sick?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  126. Jhonen

    These 2 things commonly bare a thousand dollar fine in America. Alex, what is drunk driving and not having health care?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  127. J. Brandt Kenucky

    The problem isn't the requirement for everyone to have insurance, the problem is the bill lacks a public plan which would insure affordable insurance for everyone while protecting those of us who are satisfied with our current insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  128. Tony

    Yes. I used to think "I don't need insurance, I never get sick." when I was young but when I had kidney failure at the age of 39, I realized how fortunate I was to have good health insurance. When we are young we all believe we are invincible but by enacting this it will save us all in the long run.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  129. Antonio Davis

    I'm self-employed, uninsured, and suffering from a kidney stone as i write (last time the bill was $13,000 so i'm not going to the ER ). Something tells me if insurance was affordable you wouldn't have to force many people to get it. A. Davis Alabama

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  130. Jason

    No we should not be forced to buy health insurance. People can not afford insurance if they are unemployed... People can not afford insurance if they are in poverty...

    We are required to pay for car insurance... But we have the option to not drive at all... Forcing us to pay health insurance with no if's ands or buts? Where is my freedom!

    This is going to make situations extremely worse if this happens...

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  131. John Livesay

    Requiring people to buy insurance would be unconstitutional. If they
    can make you buy insurance then they can make you buy anything that
    they want to. Do they think we are all idiots?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  132. connie/alabama

    Turn the question around: Should people be forced to pay for the medical care of those who can afford but don't buy health insurance?
    Of course, you would say "no", but we are. It makes a lot more sense for us all to buy insurance, so, we should answer "yes" people should be forced to buy health insurance. Isn't it funny how a question becomes more clearly focused when you put the shoe on the other foot.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  133. Smilearth

    Jack,
    Yes, unless they sign an affidavit that they will pay out of their pocket in the case of an accidental injury or catastrophic illness. Like automobile insurance, if you want to drive on the US road ways, they are forced to have insurance to cover for potential property damage and body injury for the other party. So, if one wants to live in the US, they must have healthcare insurance. This is so simple that it only takes common sense to your question.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  134. Michael Haymes

    only if health insurers are forced to offer the same people that they cover for health a disability and and life coverage. govt. could pay the premiums on the disability and life. the pay out at point of disability or death should decrease as the person goes longer using only health benefits. This would create and incentive for the ins co to keep people healthy and alive. govt could refuse to cover premiums for ins cos that have bad outcomes.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  135. dar eliason San Jose CA

    Of course as we that have it are SICK of paying emergency rooms Because uninsured people wait too long so they are far more serious
    the middle class carry them on our backs. WAKE UP America we need a public manditory OPTION!!!!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  136. Alan Rosenberg

    Insurance is gamling casino. People buy insurance to protect agaisnt the catastrophic. Health care should not not be called insurance it should be for caring for Americans health. Get rid of the bookies the mighty CEO's

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  137. Mark (Arlington, MA)

    Jack,

    You shouldn't mis-represent what the President wants from health care. He said that he doesn't want the plan to increase the deficit, not that there would be zero tax increases. Increased taxes on those comfortably living on more than $250K would cover part of the costs.
    As for whether people should be required to purchase insurance, I would argue yes they should. We all need to work towards the collective health of the entire population. I don't think we benefit from people forgoing H1N1 vaccination because they can't afford health insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  138. Nancy, Tennessee

    Imposing fines on people who are already struggling for not buying health insurance is unrealistic. The people in Washington don't have a clue what it is like for a family trying to survive on $18-$20 thousand per year income. Tennessee would be a great place for members of our Congress to take a look at prices versus our paychecks. If fines are imposed on people who are already struggling, there will be lots of people sick. The stress of deciding if their family shall eat or have health insurance will cause serious health problems. Can't Washington wake up and realize not everyone has a yearly income of at least $100,000.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  139. Sandy Scarborough

    Absolutely Not! So if you can't or refuse to pay the premiums is the government going to send you to debtors prison? It seems we need a good old fashioned "Boston Tea Party Revolt"

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  140. Denis Duffy

    Where is this going , Jack ? If you can, but won't, pay for health insurance, you get fined by the govennment? So what happens if you don't pay the fine ? Are the feds going to arrest you and throw you in the slammer, where by the way, you'll recieve health care? How stupid is this all going to get?

    Denis
    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  141. matthew taylor

    If people are forced to buy health care, isn't this really just another form of tax?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  142. dennis boychuk

    of course, should work exactly like car insurance, and it works everywhere in the world were we really are caring about others. I would like to see CNN discuss the newsweek article by TR Reid where he says it comes down to a moral issue, either we care about everyone or we don't.. I never heard christ ask "what's in it for me?"

    And I can state as a business owner in the USA and Canada, the Canadian system is much better for small business and entrepeneurs.
    Everybody knows you don't just pay for insurance just when you have an accident, a fire, or die. you have to pay into it. everyone ends up needing it one way or another.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  143. John

    800 billion percent no! It's against the constitution and absurd to force people to buy health insurance, it's not like car insurance where you can choose not to drive a car, it's your own choice about your well being and your health care. You can choose to have an abortion but not choose to go without health insurance. What am I missing here? It's going to take a full fledge revolt by the millions of people who (like me) choose not to have health insurance. I choose to"cash-pay" my annual physical ($85), two annual dental visits (2x$50), a bi-annual eye exam ($95), and visit the CVS Minute-Clinic for any immediate ailments or flu shots. The only people that mandated insurance helps is health insurance companies and politicians, not real people. This health care reform has completely lost its credibility.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  144. Diane Holmes

    Jack, if I have determined that I cannot afford health insurance, how in the world will it help me if I am then FINED because I feel that my resources are not able to support it? and just WHO is going to decide if I "can" afford it? Perhaps the legislators should be forced to pay for their own insurances with the same minimal level of coverage many of the rest of us have to deal with. The problem is not only the cost of insurance, but the cost of care. A senior with apparently reasonable insurance can become bankrupted by a single hospitalization. THAT is what we need to deal with!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  145. Terry, Ft. Bragg

    In my state people are already forced to buy auto insurance to just to protect plastic and sheet metal. It seems to work pretty good. If we as a nation value human life more than plastic and sheet metal, then the answer is obvious. It should be mandatory.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  146. Bobbie

    I don't think that people should be required Health Insurance since it could come right out of there paychecks. It has been reported that it could be as much as 13% of a family of 4. I don't know about you but that is a major bill (like a house payment). I think that people should ask their own doctor what they think. I did and mine supports a Public Option. He says that he has had many times been on the phone fighting for his patients to their insurance companies on test that he feels is necessary and even surgeries. The time he spends on the phone with these insurance companies is time taken away from his patients. It has also been reported that the Majority of Physicians Support Health Reform that Includes Both Public and Private Insurance Options. Why aren't we listening to the doctors?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  147. Selena Porter

    yes... we have to pay if they get sick or have an accident it'sonly fair.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  148. John

    No. As a self-employed single 58 year old with a pre-exsisting condition without health insurance I'm barely making it now. I can't afford to go to the doctor . If they pass this version of the Health Bill I will end up paying the goverment the $950 fine each year. which means money I could have used to see a doctor will be collected by Uncle Sam.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  149. Joan

    Yes everyone should have to get health care like they do in other countries in order to keep health care costs down. It should be a single payer system so that people would never have to worry about going to a doctor as long as they live. Everything would be so simple because there would be people in charge to oversee the whole system keeping costs under control.

    Joan...Arizona

    September 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  150. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    To me that's like blaming the victim. What they need to do is regulate ins. companies, medical supply corps, pharmaceutical cos. and big business hospitals. Why does it cost us four times more than other countries? When it comes to healthcare, capitalism sucks. How can they profit off of other people's suffering? "We live in a society, not an economy." (I can't remember the professor's name or university.)

    September 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  151. Alie, Atlanta, GA

    Jack, we're forced to buy auto insurance and home insurance with serious penalties for not doing so. How can we Not be required to have insurance on our own life and health which is far more precious?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  152. John, New York City

    Let me get this straight. The government offerred me a $4500 grant toward a new car but wants to CHARGE me $3600 for health insurance?! Who is coming up with this stuff?! If it wasn't real, it would be comical!!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  153. Patricia/Georgia

    Yes...it is the only way we can cut costs to the rest of America who have to pick up the tab for the ones without it. There is a clause for those who cannot afford it so they won't have to pay the fine. It seems a little steep, however one day in the hospital can come to more than that so maybe it is more realistic than we think. We cannot continue to cover everyone who doesn't want to or can't get health care.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  154. Dan Arrow

    From Dan Arrow, Lakewood, Colorado
    Health Insurance Mandate?
    Force me to buy from private insurance companies?
    NO.... and I question if it's even constitutional.
    It's not like auto insurance as the president said.
    Car insurance is for liability (harm to others), and we have
    a choice not to drive, with public and private transportation
    options. The mandate amounts to a poll tax or head tax.
    A tax on being alive.
    On the other hand, perhaps having a health care
    "public option" is a way of mitgating the
    mandate and making it legal.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  155. Mary from Kentucky

    You want a Riot.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  156. Pat Tully Jr.

    of course people should be "forced" to pay for health care. Just like people are "forced" to pay for the military or public libraries or roads.

    The only problem with such a formula is putting a private, for-profit entity into the equation.

    Health care should be paid for in the exact way armies, libraries and roads should be paid for. With progressive taxation.

    The government forcing citizens to provide profits to so-called " insurance" companies whose for-profit motive is satisfied by providing as little "product" as possible is not only counter productive, it is insane and homicidal..

    September 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  157. Josh in Georgia

    Yes, since uninsured people who can actually afford insurance or qualify for existing programs, are included in the 30 million people identified as the problem, they have to be forced to get insurance in order to fix it.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  158. Theodore R. Wade Jr.

    NO, however everyone should be forewarned that not having it, they will be fully burdoned with the personal responsibility of paying the bills, anyway, without excape options.
    I also don't think motorcycle writers should be forced to wear helmets, but when the appear at the hospital, they will have to go to the end of the line and wait their turn. Idiots!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  159. Andy LaPorte

    Yes Jack, everyone pays for health insurance as a payroll deduction just like social security and medicare. It is called single payer.

    This plan is, hose the taxpayer and kiss the insurance companies

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  160. Sharon

    Of course, everyone should be forced to have health insurance, just as our transportation system requires all drivers to have auto insurance. People are generally afraid of change, and this issue is no different even though it will benefit all of us and the nation. Once it is put into practice everyone will ease into it, just like all of the other Fed programs that work well but were contested at first.
    Sharon

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  161. Ryan felton

    The government can't make anyone buy HC. I have great private HC and I'm not dropping it without a fight. A private option is a must. People who need free HC get it and I get to keep mine. Not offering a private option is a garrantee failer.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  162. Jeff

    NO! This sets a bad precedent. No American should every be force to buy anything from a private company. What will be the next "must have" law?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  163. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    Jack
    Only those people born in a hospital should be required to purchase affordable health insurance. We all depend on hositals and should pay a fair amount for our need . I no longer attend public school but contribute to public schools for those who are being educated. People who have no car pay for roads and bridges.
    When health Insurance becomes mandatory insurance underwriters will morph into a utility and eliminates the need for obscene executive pay of 24 million annual salary. )(*&&^^%%^%
    I further disagree with those who claim it unaffordable. The truth being for most of my life health care was a perk to employment thus very inexpensive. I do agree that if the governement has access to these funds they will abuse it as social security and medi-care. What this counntry needs is a Honesty license issued to all government employees and corporate executives. Those found guilty of unethical deeds would lose their rights and be bannished to exile. Goldman Sachs is doing well I hear 11 billion in bonuses

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  164. V. Hart Sr.

    The way I see it is that having to demand that everyone pays is way to intrucive!!!
    Wait unless it's like Social Security.... that really worked....
    Come on..... It's another way for the government to get our money.
    I saw the Michael Moore documentary Sicko.... I really don't see how it's to hard to do socialist type coverage here. And we also could thank good old Nixxon for let Providers like Kaiser come in and really mess things up.
    Ps I have health insurance but I just don't thinks it's for everybody givin thier financial status, almost like every kid must go to college program.
    Come on!!!
    V. Hart
    Huntington Beach Ca.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  165. Troy

    I'm so tired of my tax dollars going to foot the bill for others who refuse to pay there own way. Yes! Force people to buy health insurance, just as we are forced to have auto insurance!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  166. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – I do not believe that the Constitution grants Congress the power to compel people to buy health insurance anyway. Since less than a third of the uninsured are volunatarily uninsured, and many of them can afford to pay out of pocket for normal health care costs, this feature is a non-solution for a non-problem. The real issue is coverage for people who cannot afford either insurance or routine care, a much larger group. The Baucus bill offers no real reform, and no real solutions for either of the big cost issues – non-emergency care in ER and end of life costs. The manner in which it attempts to control insurance policy terms is unConstitutional. Why is anyone giving this baloney any real consideration? Consensus on a non-reform plan is not worth spit!
    The idea that we need to "pay" for this is ridiculous – we are already paying far more for far less, with a projected $20 trillion in costs for the probl4ems the Baucus bill does not fix. The "Swiss" approach to public iinsurance will lower costs all around, at the expense of the insurance companies, who have Max Baucus in their pocket. You have to be an idiot or a crook to support this bill.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  167. Patrick Orlando, FL

    Absolutely! This whole reform is being brought upon the idea that everyone should have good health insurance. For those like me that have paying for years I think it is only fair that all should pay if all are to be covered.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  168. johnchristopher saskatchewan

    How does an obviously great idea like health care as a human right get turned into a gigantic political football. Peoples' lives are at stake here. All citizens in a civilized society should have health care. They should not be FORCED to buy health care. All should have access to health care based on their ability to pay. Grow up!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  169. Dan Strader

    No Free Health Care

    Many intelligent and educated Americans are opposed to Obama’s Health Plan because they believe Health Care should not be an entitlement! It should be earned in the performance of “Legal Work”. We will even accept some rationing in order to help those that can not perform legal work. We are opposed to giving free and equal benefits to those in underground economies that don’t pay taxes, the incarcerated, illegal aliens, and those unwilling to work – they don’t deserve it. That’s just common sense.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  170. Devin

    I don't think people should be forced to buy insurance. I think it should be automatic. What is so wrong with the "European system?" Since when were we so superior to all the other countries in the world?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  171. kimberly

    Making people buy health insurance is not gone to work,that is the dumbest thing I ever heard of.I do not have any health insurance and I can't afford to buy it so I guess I will never go to the doctor unless I am dying,then they can't give me a fine anyways.WE NEED THE PUBLIC OPTION!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  172. Marcela

    Yes, of course! Unless they plan on never leaving their home, eating only healthy food, exercising everyday and have a perfect family medical history. Or commit to opening up a savings account and maintain enough funds to cover all medical expenses from the ambulance to emergency room services to a transplant when they go out in the world and live. I am thinking none of the above.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  173. gretchen

    A nurse since 1964 and still working.

    Health care should be for people and not for profit.

    Not everything in this country has to be for profit.

    Medicare for all will be a savings, money and lives.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  174. Rox, Minneapolis

    There is a reason that so many people don't have health insurance and it isn't because they don't want it or think they need it. It has to do with affordability. Until Congress acknowledges and addresses this simple fact with insurance companies and health providers alike, nothing is going to change.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  175. Kris Craig in Olympia, WA

    President Obama PROMISED us repeatedly during the campaign that he would not stand for this. He reminded everyone that those of us who don’t have health insurance aren’t buying coverage because we can’t afford it, not because we don’t want it. Now he’s completely changed his tune. I can’t afford health coverage, and I resent being categorically referred to as a “dare devil” as a means of belittling this fact. Have you ever gone to the emergency room for routine care, Jack? I can tell you, as someone who has far too many times, that in and of itself is incentive enough to buy health insurance if it’s affordable. A fine would only make a bad situation even worse for me. I have never felt so betrayed in my life. I never would’ve supported Obama in the primaries if I’d known then that he would so easily break his word and feed us to the dogs just so he can get his bill passed.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  176. M

    Forced to buy health insurance? Sounds good, eh comrade?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  177. David - Texas

    There are some people in this country who have been evading their responsibility when it comes to affordable health care. These are the people that will likely be force to get health care and not rely on the tax payers to foot the bill. The individual or families, who can't afford to secure insurance, must be assisted until such time that they can afford to secure affordable insurance with an annual review attached.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  178. Dione Smith

    NO. No one should be forced to buy health care.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  179. Jon from CA

    absolutly not. health care should not be a requirement but an option. this plan would simply bankcrupt small business owners, pave the way for corporations to increase premiums, and give the government a bigger look into the private lives of its citizens. even if there was a public option, it would produce the same results if people were forced to choose between government and big business. i believe its our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. this plan betrays all of them.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  180. Will

    As a Californian i can tell you that forcing people to buy insurance causes an increase in cost to the consumer. In California we have a law that forces us to buy auto insurance. Some people have to choose between food and paying insurance for that month. Then because of the inability to pay for insurance you ding them by charging them more money according to the plan. It is completely illogical. this part of the bill doesn't allow the free market to reign which is polar opposite to the rest of the bill which is trying to drive down prices in healthcare through competitive action. It makes the poor poorer, and everyone else just upset.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  181. Scott W.

    The day that Americans are forced to purchase a certain product from a particular industry is the day I look for another country with which to reside. This is an insult to the working men and women of this country, and has me very angry about what government's role is in this country. They have put their noses in places it doesn't belong too many times, not to expect it to get bitten off. It's time for Amercians to step on the toes of their representatives and bulldoze "K" street.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  182. Gloria Stone

    Yes, people should be required to buy health insurance. That's how insurance works. Those that are well pay insurance for people who are not well, with the knowledge should they become sick, insurance will cover them. Insurance companies should not be allowed to deny coverage when people are sick, but to make a profit they have to have people paying in who don't need it right away.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  183. charles mt pocono pa

    hell no, if you cant affored healthcare at your current salery, how dose the govt expect to take it from a salery thats gone down in the past year

    September 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  184. Brian / Sacramento, Ca

    Jack, imposing fines and forcing Heathcare purchase is not the answer. This revised bill with no 'public option' has some good reforms in it but the problem isn't that people have no healthcare, it resides with the Insurance and Pharmacutical companies. This is the area that really needs reform. You think the money mongers on Wall Street are crooks, they pale in comparison to the Insurance and Pharmacutical companies.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  185. Tony

    We should be forced to pay for health care because no mater what we are going to use health care. If I don't have health insurance I'm not going to die on the street, I'm going to go to the ER and get treated. It would be unfair for me to get this with out contributing. Also with more people covered there is more money in the system. Lets be honest, a lot of people who don't have coverage are like me between 19-29. We don't get sick as often. If we are required to pay into health care, ether by buying a plan or paying a tax, then cost can go down all around. Then my rates will still be low when I'm 60+.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  186. sympathetic Canadain

    Jack everyone is forced to pay health care now.It is just hidden in the tax code.
    The only possible thing congress could do to make the system worse is a mandate without a public plan.So what does the brilliant Baukus propose?..........Unreal!
    In Canada we had the exact same health system as America in the 60s.Thank goodness we were able to change before the talking head era as it is doubtful we would have any more success than America is today.
    It is sad situation our American cousins find themselves in.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  187. Michelle --- Orange County, CA

    Yes! If you drive a car you are required to buy auto insurance. I realize people aren't "forced" to have auto insurance if they don't own a car. But if you get into a car, drive it and get into an accident, you are held responsible. If you are caught driving w/o insurance you get a ticket. People get sick and injured and need doctors and hospitals. It's a no-brainer.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  188. John

    I think its important that every man women and child is covered with health insurence. Times have changed if we don't do something about the health care crisis in this country no one will be able to afford the health care plans they have. I think this would force the American people to be responsible with their health. Seriously, if you have a emergency and need to be rushed to the hosital I dont want to have to wait in hosiptal lines that last hours and hours because the people in front of me dont have healthcare to go see a doctor for the small things.Its too time consuming and could mean the difference between life and death. We dont let drivers drive without auto insurence so we shouldnt allow people to gamble with the health and the health of honest americans.
    John

    Prospect, CT

    September 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  189. TK

    I think we should require Health CARE for all Americans. I'm ashamed at our level of negligence to our fellow citizens. Let's live up to the claims of being the greatest country on earth.
    Health Care reform has turned into Health Insurance reform simply because money talks.
    We keep asking how much insurance is, who pays, etc. How about asking what we're getting for that money?
    We get mad when we're ripped off at any store in town, and yet with insurance companies we seem to just accept it as the norm.
    That's not good enough for America.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  190. Roody Donais

    Hell no, it’s supposed to be free for all. However, I won’t mind pay a little bit more taxes instead of try jail me.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  191. Bonnie

    Outrageous. That's some gall forcing people to buy outlandishly expensive and worthless health insurance and to incur a fine! Whose to say what's really affordable for me and my circumstance? Not Max Baucus. He hasn't a clue and is only a mouthpiece for maintaining the status quo with the health insurance industry. I can't express in strong enough terms how disgusted I am with this Senate bill!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  192. Sandy Glass

    Yes, yes, yes. Use subsidies if needed to assist those in need. I believe that in Japan everyone must have health insurance & I read they have more responsive & abundant health care than we do in the U.S: see physicians quickly & more often. Etc. We are required to have car insurance & should be required to have health insurance. From what I read, no country's health care is perfect; however, other developed countries' health care produce a higher life expectancy with high quality of life. We need to emulate them.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  193. Robert (Branson,MO)

    I'm no fan of the government forcing me to do anything but, our health care system is in dire need of reform. As long as health insurance is affordable and available to every single American regardless of employment status or income level, I think it is necessary to require coverage. I do support a public option and the more research I do into single payer, the more I like the idea. All I know is that neither myself nor my son have health insurance and that needs to change a.s.a.p.. Health coverage is a moral and humanitarian necessity.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  194. tony sanabria

    If forcing people to buy health care is good for the country at large and a moral obligation then I propose that Americans also be forced into the armed forces as it's also a moral obligation: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  195. Rolando DePuy

    If they want to be treated when they are ill!!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  196. Judith Naughton

    Yes. Absolutely. And those who can't afford it should be subsidized. Not only for the insurance, but also, if necessary, for the deductible. And even for the co-pays, for the desperately poor. EVERYONE should have access.

    Personally, I feel I have had my eyes opened in recent days. I now understand why the Republicans are opposed to coverage for every single person in the nation, something so obviously fair and desirable. I think they can't stand the idea of their money going to help people of color. This is sickening, but as I watch what's going on all over the country, at all levels, as much as I don't want to believe it, I think it's the only explanation. As a civil rights supporter from the 60s, it breaks my heart..

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  197. Ray from Texas

    Buying health insurance is not the same as buying car insurance. You have a choice on driving a car but you don't have a choice on living. There should be NO mandates on companies or individuals to buy health insurance. What happened to the basic Freedom of Choice? If the insurance is affordable the people will buy it.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  198. Debra / NY

    Why not? I am forced to pay for people's Emergency room visits with every small paycheck I recieve from my employer just to have health Ins...

    Maybe the real questions we need to ask are; what are the bonuses of each top ranking management level employees are receive monthly? How many claims are denied, with deaths that are contribute to no health care?

    It’s all a number games for saving and profit…

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  199. yvonne, arkansas

    If health insurance was as low as car insurance, then i'd say yes people should be forced to buy it. Unfortunately health insurance is 5, 10, 15, or maybe even 20 times more then isurance on car. I'm sure the chairman meant well while considering his income.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  200. Stephi, Los Angeles, CA

    I don't believe penalties are a good incentive to get people to do the right thing.
    Perhaps it should be progressive penalty. The first time someone shows up at the emergency room, they are immediately signed up for the public option and, as an expample, required to pay $1200 ($100 per month minimal premium penalty). Then, if they still don't comply,and upon the next time at the emergency room, it could be increased to say $3600. the problem is, if people can't afford the $1200, how are you going to collect the $3600?
    But i still don't believe penalties are incentives.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  201. Kimo

    Aloha Jack,

    Should Americans have to buy health insurance?
    Absolutely not!
    The idea is to make health care available free for all US citizens.
    Not make the insurance companys richer!

    The goverment can pay for health care by not building billion dollar
    bombs this year.
    Or....how about not giving corporations grants this year?
    Or... how about stopping foriegn aid for one year?
    Kimo

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  202. Smilearth

    For all those NO sayers, who will pay for their ER care? Talking about the right, where is the right issue for auto insurance? Grow up fellows. A student comes down with swine flue, does not have healthcare insurance and if not treated in ICU, will die. Would the NO sayers come forward and pay for the needed care?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  203. alec

    I don't even consider this an option, all this would do is help the greedy insurance companies get more richer and do nothing to provide affordable health care. how can someone be forced to get something they can't afford now ? I say no

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  204. Alan Whelan

    Ultimately we all pay for healh care in one way or another. What I question is forcing people to pay Heath Insurance companies for heath care coverage. I suspect that the bill coming out of the Finance Committee was written for and probably by insurance company lobbiests. Congress should first look to the insurance industries profits before anyone is forced to enrich them even more.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  205. Olivia, Atlanta

    Similar to mandatory car insurance for all vehicles/ drivers, only if everybody buys health insurance we'll see cost reductions in premiuns and make posible that pre-existying conditions are covered. If SOME people opt out of the market the costs will remain high because these people when sick will attend ERs/hospitals. People who already have insurance are already paying in average $1000 per family per year to cover the expenses of those uninsured. I can think of 1000 different ways how to use that extra ammount of money. The bill certainly have to have affordability provisions (i.e, subsidies, tax breaks, competition among insurance companies, public option, etc) for those who can not buy insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  206. Sharon

    NO, people should not be forced to buy health INSURANCE. By tying health care to some concept of money, some idea that we need a middle man to sanction when and why we see a doctor, we have turned a basic human need into a numbers game and, currently, a status symbol. That's what the real, underlying discord is about. Numbers games and status symbols don't cure cancer. Seeing a doctor who supervises chemotherapy and radiation, as in health care procedures, does. In 2006, one year alone, we paid insurance companies $774.8 billion – 5.6% of our GDP. The cost for this new plan, spread over 10 years, is $856 billion, just slightly more in relative terms. Why are we paying insurance companies at all? Why can't we just pay the doctors, hospitals, and clinics and be done with this?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  207. Kanti Shah

    Why not? The unsured will end up in the emergency rooms at the cost of insured. Drivers are required to buy liability insurance, why not health insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  208. Patricia - Pine Plaines NY

    The Baucus proposal is outragours. Anyone who votes for it will be voted out of office sooner than you can say Health Care Insurance. Talk about facing a "Death Panel". Most of us can't afford these new rates and we may all go backrupt trying to pay them. I'd rather be fined than have half my income cut. Then of course I wouldn't have health insurance anymore and would be subject to whatever would happen to me in my old age.
    No, no one should be forced to buy this plan. We need the public option, PERIOD.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  209. Cynthia Reed

    Who IS this proposed bill for? People being forced to buy healthcare without a public option will not work, nor help! The public option would force the insurance companies to be competitive and keep their prices realistic. Without it, passing this bill would only help the insurance companies keep getting richer! As a retired teacher household, the health insurance costs have skyrocketed for both the individual and our employer! Middle class households should not have to sell our home in trade, to pay for raising health care costs. Is it really fair for us to have choose a mortgage, or health insurance in retirement? And now you're telling us, it won't even be an option? It will become mandatory? THIS is not better! Making it mandatory to carry health care should be a "concession to insurance companies", in exchange for individuals to have a public option cheaper.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  210. John in Alabama

    Absolutely not. A health-care savings account is a far better option, even if with mandatory contributions, since it does not pad the wallets of greedy insurance company execs, but keeps the money and the decisions in the hands of the people.

    The fact that that the current proposal only envisions doing things through insurance companies only speaks to the power of the insurance lobby in Washington.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  211. ken

    No one should be forced to buy health insurance. It has become obvious that the dems are folding again for the health care insurance industry. All that is needed is to give people under 65 the OPTION of buying into medicare based on income with a sliding fee schedule. Take the vote now. If it doesn't pass, too bad. The health insurance companies are salivating and the health care stocks are climbing upward. The pubs don't want anything and the dems will accept anything . This is a drug prescription with many side effects.

    Ken
    NJ

    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  212. DJ in Denver

    I cannot afford to pay anything to anyone for anything. I have been unemployed for over a year. If I didn't have decent people in my life I would be homeless. I would love healthcare, but food and heat are a little higher on my priorities right now. I had food bank sausage for breakfast today, it beats killing squirrels.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  213. Phil-Wenatchee, WA

    If the states are going to force us to purchase automobile insurance...with a hefty $400+ fine for not, then we should be required to do the same for health insurance. Who pays for the uninsured motorist? Same thing applies here.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  214. Karen Nakamura

    Jack,
    We the People will pay our own way. Almost anything else is a smoke screen. ...Create "expanded medicare" with premiums $0-$400 a month sliding scale (cheap) averaged to $200.
    With 50,000,000 Americans without or underinsured @ $200, that's $10 BILLION per month, $120 Billion a year and over that needed Trillion in 10 years. And expand the clinic systems. They actually serve the poor.
    Karen Nakamura

    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  215. cherylcowling Michigan

    Is Max going to be paying for his health insurance? Whatever plan any of these senators come up with they should have to adapt to it also.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  216. J. Brandt Kenucky

    @CJ The Constitution also didn't say the government should provide Federal highways, Social Security, VA hospitals, etc...there are many things our founding fathers couldn't forsee over 230 yrs ago...including a country with over 304 million people...18,000 whom die every year due to lack of health insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  217. Nathan Bowers

    Jack,

    Going to College I was forced to buy insurance, and the service was very limited. I didn't get anything free, not even a condom... What happen to Freedom?
    I want to move and be Swiss.

    I think Obama should be removed like the Chinese did a few weeks ago. I agree with Ron Paul's new book!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  218. Jerry Clarke

    Let us just start over.This was going to be shoved down our throats from the beginning in two weeks.No one knows the amount of deficits it will eventually run up.I believe we have so much debt in Medicare,Medicaid,and Social Security that it is insane to draw up a health care plan without knowing the exact amount amount cost wise and input from the voters,doctors,nurse,insurance companies,etc.It takes up to 18% of GNP.This is reason enough to do our due diligence.It would be great if we could have a referendum on it.Otherwise just try to fix the other agencies first and then move on to health care.How many balls in the air can you juggle at once?Jerry Clarke Palos Hills,Illinois

    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  219. Dave in Arizona

    Absolutely not. No one should be forced by the government to spend their money directly for a service. It grates me enough that the government requires auto insurance when private sector insurance companies are blatantly discriminatory based on age and gender.

    But while I think it's foolish to require everyone to have medical insurance, I think it's of paramount importance for them to have it if they need it. A public option if vital. One ill person who cannot find treatment can be the source of an epidemic. It's in everyone's interest for everyone to be able to be treated.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  220. Russell K. Shenn

    Coerrsive and punative measures as remedies illustrates only failure to
    properly identify the problem and discover the best solution. Consider
    the current state of affairs with regard to IRAQ and AFGANISTAN. How
    does one win hearts and minds when knowledge and understanding(the
    waters) bring the consequences of more blood shed? Truly, the waters
    have been turned to blood.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  221. Adam Kirur

    No, dammit! It bloody well AMAZES me that America, the wealthiest country on the planet, refuses–that's right, REFUSES–to "provide for the general welfare" of its citizens.

    But what should we expect from you, eh? The "mainstream media" provides plenty of time to the racists who (GASP!) have just discovered their "disagreements with the government."

    Mr. Cafferty, I LIKE YOUR COUNTRY. But, as it's going now, you shall have no use of al Qaeda, for you are doing a truly excellent job of destroying yourselves!

    Adam Kirur
    Mt. Pearl, NFLD
    Canada

    September 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  222. Westcoaster

    I think the $3,800 fine idea won't wash. People make the comparison to mandatory auto insurance. This doesn't equate. As far as I know, only the the liability portion of car insurance is mandatory. A lot of drivers decide not to insure the market value of their car, especially if it's an older model.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  223. sonny Edwards-Muscle Shoals Al

    No. The idea of fining people who don't buy insurance is just part of the Insurance Industry Welfare Plan, to force people onto the roles of the big insurance companies, as is the provision that one must be without insurance for six months before they would be eligible for any other option, including co-ops. By the way, co-ops take years to get up and running. Medicare for ALL Americans would be best, but it won't happen as long as the insurance industry owns the Senate.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  224. Dr. Giorgio, in Italy

    A democratic society opposes any such coercion on it's citizens! Obama's desire to provide health care to all of Americans must be supported by congress. and even philantropists should provide needed funding for such an important cause. Yes, a cause which would demonstrate the needed respect and caring for all Americans, by you,Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and other Rich Cats! Americans, don't be brainwashed as usual! The 40,000 people who marched on to the White House, demonstrating against President Obama's proposed Health Care Reform, are simply a bunch of Imbeciles!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |