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Va. Senate bills say no to insurance mandate: Do you agree?

Virginia's Democratic-controlled state Senate passed measures Monday that would make it illegal to require individuals to purchase health insurance, a direct challenge to the party's efforts in Washington to reform health care.

The bills, a top priority of Virginia's "tea party" movement, were approved 23 to 17 as five Democrats who represent swing areas of the state joined all 18 Republicans in the chamber in backing the legislation. Read the full article.

By Jodi Westrick  |  February 2, 2010; 10:31 AM ET  | Category:  Local Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please look at what the State of Maine tried to do a few years back. They made the insurance companies cover everyone who wanted, but did not put the mandate back on the individuals. What they got was only the sick got covered and costs skyrocketed. No one likes the fact that insurance costs are high, but in order to get costs down, everyone needs to participate.

Otherwise, why should I pay, when you get sick.

Posted by: jjj141 | February 2, 2010 11:24 AM

Amazing. I guess having the insured pay for the uninsured through higher premiums is preferable to requiring everbody to buy insurnace and bringing the overall price down. Does VA require everybody to have car insurance?

Posted by: thomgr | February 2, 2010 11:43 AM

Actually, VA doesn't require you to have car insurance. I think if you opt out, there is a plan through the state?

Posted by: larry40 | February 2, 2010 12:00 PM

The larger and more inclusive the pool the lower the cost of the insurance will be. That is just the way it works. Until we acknowledge that fact we are not really interested in insurance reform. Also we are paying for the uninsured now with higher costs to those that are insured.

Posted by: chlind | February 2, 2010 12:08 PM

If citizens/subjects can be required to buy insurance policies then they can be required to buy a gun! And when we regain power, this is what we are going to require. what's good for the goose.....
Wise up! It is simply unconstitutional for the feds to require us to purchase anything. Our new motto is: if they pass it we will not obey and if they tax it we will not pay. Fasten your seat belts.

Posted by: devan95 | February 2, 2010 12:15 PM

Virginia is for morons.

Posted by: dmcgoldrick | February 2, 2010 12:16 PM

You're required to have car insurance why not health insurance.

Posted by: rlj1 | February 2, 2010 12:21 PM

If any of you who claim that we should all pay for health insurance, needs to read (for the first time, or again) our Constitution. No where does it give the Federal Government the right to mandate the people to buy anything. The only way it can be mandated is through the individual states. As far as automobile insurance, you are not being honest with yourselfs or anyone else. Auto insurance is required if you drive a car ONLY!! If you choose not to drive, then you DO NOT have to buy the insurance. Driving is a priviledge not a right, therefore your state has the right to dictate the rules. No where is it written that you or anyone has the "right" to health insurance. No one person or company should be forced to cover someone with a pre-existing condition. I do feel people should be able to purchase their own insurance that would follow them from job to job, or retirement. But, why should a company pay for someone who gets sick or injured and then decide that they need insurance? We all need to start being responsible for ourselves and quit expecting someone else to work hard all of their lives and give their money to those who have not. My parents paid all of their own bills, and we pay for all of ours. My children are paying for theirs. Leave my money alone!!

Posted by: swansiger0912 | February 2, 2010 12:54 PM

as a conservative and someone that supports much of the recent backlash against the growth of government, i support a mandate for two simple reasons:

1. the constitutionality argument is simply ideological. the concept of health insurance was in its infancy when the constitution was written - basically you lived if you could afford treatment or if you lived in a small enough community where a doctor could be paid in kind over time. i'm definitely against the government requiring me to anything outside of following laws and paying taxes, but the alternative is a society where people that can (or choose to) afford health insurance live and those that don't are turned away at emergency rooms and die. i'd be surprised if even ayn rand would choose to live within such a system.

2. given the free flow of information and today, the system above would only further class warfare and an increasing populist agenda. how many real life john q stories will it take for people to vote universal health care for all at the expense of the taxpayer? if you believe that the private sector is the best means to efficiently administer health care, then you need to ensure it's survival through mandating that everyone participate in a private system.

Posted by: thickman22 | February 2, 2010 1:15 PM

Swansiger,

That was a nice try, but you need to read the last 200 years of judicial decisions. The federal government is allowed to mandate a lot due to the commerce and spending clauses of the Constitution.

Posted by: psconroy | February 2, 2010 1:24 PM

Belief in the Constitution is not idealogy. It is the law of the land. And you are right to say that doctors were paid over time, whether with money or trade. That is the way it should be. I will bet you that there is not one person that has been turned away from the emergency room due to lack of insurance. This is one of the governnment "mandates" that all are "entitled" to treatment at any emergency room. It is because of these requirements that have pushed insurance coverage out of reach for most people. You can always find a "sad" story about someone's illness, but it still does not make it right for me to have to pay for them. My family has endured many "sad" stories and have paid their medical bills "over time". My father worked in the steel mills and was constantly being layed off. My mother worked 14-16 hours a day raising 6 children. They paid all of their own bills. They also sent 4 of their children to college. My husband and I have raised our children and sent them to college without the help of government. And we would'nt dare want someone else to have paid their way. You weren't put on this world for someone else to take care of you. Also, you will probably find most of the "low income" people have tv's, cell phones, music players (Ipods, etc.), cars, etc. It really a shame that we have such a poor nation. It all boils down to whether you are going to work for what you want or need, or depend on someone else to do it for you. Grow up!

Posted by: swansiger0912 | February 2, 2010 1:38 PM

Hey, you don't want to buy health insurance? Fine, then you get ZERO coverage or help when you go to the hospital and need it.

It floors me that people don't get that "Ofcourse" people are against mandating insurance, when they are the same people who don't currently have it and still go to the doctor/hospital and just charge the bill back to Uncle Sam (you and me).

Charging the 40 million people currently not insured, 1 dollar per day for insurance ($356 per year) would yield a net gain of 15 billion a year.

The day laborers outside of Home Depot can easily afford a dollar per day, and as a whole, thats a lot of money.

Now scale that number up by charging people a rate based on their income and all of a sudden Uncle Sam now has a new pot of 100 billion a year to pay for all of you freeloaders to go to the doctor.


Posted by: Nosh1 | February 2, 2010 1:55 PM

Have you considered that even if the Virginia legislature makes it illegal to require the purchase of health insurance (and this is somehow not preempted by federal law) that the federal government could simply circumvent this by taxing everyone to help provide insurance to those who haven't purchased it, or the fact that those who don't have health insurance but NEED care are already passing their costs onto everyone else without pitching in their fair share for their own care?

Posted by: ettu | February 2, 2010 2:08 PM

For those of you who dread the "spread of socialism" into the US, here are some socialist entities that already exist, and you are paying for with your taxes:

1. The US Military (all branches)
2. NASA
3. The Federal Highway System (including the interstates)
4. FBI
5. FEMA
6. Coast Guard
7. Your local police department
8. Your local fire department
9. FDA
10. FAA

There are about a hundred more - likely more.

Truth is, without socialist ideas, the US would be nowhere as advanced as it is today. For the entities I listed, there is NO private sector equivalent that can perform the same task in a cost effective manner, or without prejudice.

So stuff it about the socialism! Get a grip or shuffle back to your caves!

Posted by: robl | February 2, 2010 2:35 PM

So who WILL be paying for the uninsured to receive emergency room treatment? Why, it will be those of us who have health insurance and will come in the form of higher premiums. I own a small business and struggle to provide coverage for the employees. We're a "small" group, so our premiums are sex/age based. And if one has a sizable claim, the premiums go even higher. 30-40% increase in a year is not uncommon. I, too, am totally sick and tired of hearing this "socialist" baloney being promulgated by the right wing nuts and swallowed hook, line and sinker by those who don't want "big government". Enough already.

Posted by: burnedout | February 2, 2010 2:51 PM

Burnedout - with respect.

I agree with you. I too own a small business and have trouble with health care. The main issue I have is not knowing my long term costs as it relates to employees. If I make a major investment in the business, then have my long term costs due to health-care jump on a whim or a moment's notice, I can be ruined! With employees, the possibility of any growth is greatly effected purely for the sake of health related costs.

So, I feel it has to be TOTALLY one way or the other: Either have a single payer health system with set costs or nothing - and I mean NOTHING: neither Medicare or Medicaid. This half-measured BS is destroying the US, plain and simple.

It also favors larger corporations, since their costs for health-insurance is less per price point than a small company. This diminishes small jobs growth and potential innovation.

It also increases the drain on welfare in another way: I'd like to hire an elderly man or woman to handle the administrative duties of my business. Theoretically, their insight in running a business would be priceless. It also pushes back their drain on Social Security.

however, I'd be foolish to hire them purely due to the possible insurance costs.

Posted by: robl | February 2, 2010 3:19 PM

Every time the health insurance mandate debate comes up it amazes me how many people illogically try to equate it to car insurance. Just a review: If you want to enter a gym you may need to purchase a membership. If you buy a car you'll need to buy insurance. This is the way society works. This doesn't equate to the govt requiring you to buy health insurance for...existing.

Further, I agree with the analogy I read recently that if the govt can make you buy health insurance to increase the pool for insurance companies, they can also require every adult to purchase a Chevy Impala every other year or the tax equivalent because it would help the car companies and reduce the price of cars for everyone.

Posted by: josettes | February 2, 2010 3:22 PM

Virginia State Senators are just playing pure politicking. They either cover uninsured Virginians or come up with an alternative solution to the Healthcare reform. Status quo is not an option. They should put up or the STHUP!

Posted by: JHigginss | February 2, 2010 3:23 PM

You know, I don't mean to insult anyone, but it would be nice if people would think for just a moment.

Contrary to what has been put out above, Virginia does not require you to have car insurance. No one has to buy it if they don't want to. You only have to buy it if you live in Virginia, own a car and drive it in Virginia. If you don't want to do that then you are entirely free not to, including not buying health insurance and take the METRO to work every day if you want to.

That is the exact problem with health insurance. Under the Obama/Pelosi/Reid program, you have no choice. You have to buy it. Where is personal freedom in that? What if I am young, in good health, and can afford to take the risk. Why can't I save the money and only buy health insurance later when I need it.

If you would stop talking and just think for a minute, you might be able to distinguish between the two situations.

Posted by: Obamasux | February 2, 2010 3:31 PM

Virginia State Senators are bunch of hypocrites! They mandate/require ALL Virginia drivers to have car insurance. If you are caught without insurance, you are subjected to be fines, lose of your license and you are involuntarily put on very very very expensive mandatory insurance (something 22)! Now they are grandstanding and playing politics by hindering part of the Federal Healthcare reform. If they true to their logic, they should not require us to have car insurance either!

Posted by: JJames081 | February 2, 2010 3:39 PM

Simple solution, if you don't have health insurance, then you don't get treated. If that's too grim for you hippy liberals, then hospitals can provide "life-or-death" treatment in order to stabilize a patient. If they require further medical care, then they can either pay for it out of pocket, or go without.

Posted by: WildBill1 | February 2, 2010 3:40 PM

Actually, you MUST have car insurance in Virginia if you own a vehicle in the state. when you register a vehicle you have two options: Provide your own or pay for a state alternative. Either way, you're covered.

But even if you don't own a care or drive, you are still paying for those you do. Non-drivers are paying for highways, roads, and the people who maintain them. People who will never fly are paying for the FAA, airports, and the people who maintain them.

Will they EVER use them - that doesn't matter. They are still benefited by them via the goods they buy and the tourists who visit (and are themselves taxed).

It's called Socialism! And it can make all us entrepreneurs lots of free market money!

Posted by: robl | February 2, 2010 4:40 PM

What strikes me most by right-wingers is that they have a simplistic, if not warped view of the way business works. I doubt most own their own business or have to fend for themselves when it comes to health-care.

Owning a business is all about controlling costs. This is aside from the product you sell or provide. If it costs more to provide it than what you make, it doesn't make sense to be in business. To be successful I need to know what my costs will be long term before I can invest long term in my business. If health-care costs rise dramatically, then I am bankrupt. Simple enough.

The easiest way to control health-care costs is via a single payer system. Or, eliminate the mandate I provide health-care for my employees, and end Medicare and Medicaid. Either/or - the in between is not working.

Posted by: robl | February 2, 2010 4:52 PM

Robl I don't know where you get your generalizations. I have owned a business for 30 years but I guess my view is still "warped" to your superior mind.

What I would like to know is why certain people who "can't afford to pay" end up getting a completely free ride under the current system. When I had surgery expenses not covered under my insurance, I made a payment plan with the hospital. Took a couple of years to pay it off. In the meantime, illegals are getting totally free health care, while they keep their money to buy large-screen TVs and cars. In my neighborhood, they have nicer cars than I do and better entertainment gear.

How about turning off that tap, before you start bagging everybody else to pay for them?

Posted by: wpwily | February 3, 2010 2:25 AM

If the government wants to mandate that I buy health insurance, then I think they should also mandate that the insurance companies, the hospitals, and the drug companies, should all be made "not for profit". Also a small (3 to 5) percentage of all monies paid for those services should be used for R&D of new cures, and new hospitals. Since there will be billions of dollars (ours) This should be easy to do and cheaper.

Posted by: jcgrue | February 3, 2010 8:10 AM

In reference to the individual who claimed we are socialists because of the payment to the FBI, military, and Coast Guard, this is one of the most important dictates the Constitution has - Government to protect its citizens. The highway system and FAA is covered under the Constitution as our transit system. The "local fire and local police" are covered by each state. As far as NASA, and the FDA they can be loosely covered under transit and protection of the citizenry. Unfortunately, FEMA was brought about because of "Progressives" giving away our money again to those who are too stupid to know not to live in flood zones, hurricane areas, etc. and not cover themselves with appropriate insurance. Please read the Constitution and understand where we should be and not where 20% of the US population would like us to be.

Posted by: swansiger0912 | February 3, 2010 9:16 AM

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