Good points, TheLizard, but you left out one important factor, which I went over in the article: risk.
I didn’t ignore it, I actually addressed it. I’ll repeat that point here since you seem to have missed it entirely.
If you want an insurance mandate, look a little closer at that car insurance analogy. The mandate doesn’t require collision or comprehensive insurance, only liability. The rest is optional. And it never covers maintenance like oil changes and brake pads, or even repairs like replacing a battery or a radiator, or towing your car. All optional. So require insurance that only covers things like traumas or cancer or heart attacks or things that would require an extended hospital stay. For people at high risk of those things, they would pay more for that coverage just like people with lots of accidents and speeding tickets pay extra for high-risk insurance or SR-22 coverage. If you want extra coverage, it’s optional. Or you can go self-pay and shop around.
Since you were using the car insurance mandate analogy, so did I, and I took it a little further to point out the fallacies.
There are places like the Netherlands that use that model. There is a base level of insurance that is required, basically catastrophic coverage (which was outlawed with Obamacare) like I mentioned here, and then folks can purchase other insurance as an option.
The thing about that type of insurance is that if it’s done right, it can be very affordable, especially compared to the comprehensive coverage required under the current system. Plans that don’t cover check-ups with specific requirements, comprehensive drug coverage, birth control and well-baby care, flu shots, vaccines of every kind and drugs from every pharmaceutical company and on and on are basically considered “non-compliant” and won’t even count toward the existing mandate. And that is one of the the main things that makes those plans so expensive.
So you’re conflating a couple of things. You first talk about requiring a mandate because people might have traumatic injuries or catastrophic illnesses that require long and expensive treatments, but then you want that mandate to cover all kinds of maintenance and elective procedures and everything that the pharmaceutical lobby want to include.
The risk in a general population of those very expensive events exists, but it is very low for each person. If you could actually get the kind of coverage that would deal with those things but not all the other stuff that folks could handle out of pocket or with an HSA, you could offer it at a much lower price.