Mandatory Insurance

ImageOver the past few months, I got thinking about mandatory health insurance like most of the people in the USA. For me, I guess it seems like a good thing because of all my medical issues. I like the fact that they have to cover pre-exiting conditions. I don’t like other parts like they pay for birth control and stuff like that. But there sure is a lot of fighting and bickering over how the government is telling us that we have to have coverage or be penalized for not getting coverage.

This whole thing about government got me thinking back to when my daughter Jessica was very small. We didn’t have to have automobile insurance until she was around 2 years old or so. We didn’t even need car seats until she was a little older. Of course I did have one for her because it seemed pretty irresponsible and dangerous to not have one.

ImageWe were told shortly after we moved to Arizona that we had to have auto insurance and liability is the least we could purchase. Everyone was in a mad dash to get it by a certain date or we would be penalized for not having it. Sound familiar?  We wouldn’t be able to register our car or anything. At that time we barely had enough to feed ourselves and our daughter so that hit us pretty hard. We ended up meeting the deadline, but there was a lot of angry people that was upset over the government tell them that they had to have auto insurance and soon to follow car seats for infants.

In 1978 Tennessee was the first state to make car seats mandatory, by 1988 the rest of the states adopted the law. Prior to the mid 1970’s, less than 10 percent of American families were using car seats for their children. And I tell ya that people were more than upset over the government telling them that they had to have their kids in car-seats.

ImageThe penalties for driving without car insurance—or, in the above cases, proof of financial responsibility—vary across the United States, ranging from a fine of $500 all the way up to months in jail. The middle ground holds possibilities such as impounding and a suspended license. Here in Utah the penalty is pretty much this and I have friends who have had their cars impounded and lost them and left with horrible fines.

I was looking up how they work things in California if you have no auto insurance. This was taken from their own website and people think the penalty is high to not have medical insurance. 

Penalties for Having no Insurance in California ( I don’t Live there, but here is just one example from one state)

If you have no car insurance in California, whether you let it lapse or never purchased it to begin with, the state provides for punitive consequences designed to encourage you to fix the problem. Understand that in California, you need insurance not only to drive a vehicle, but also to park it on any public road. In other words, you may not even park an uninsured vehicle on the street in front of your home under any circumstances.

Drivers who allow their insurance to lapse, and cannot provide proof of new insurance within 45 days, automatically receive a one-year suspension of their registration. During the suspension period, the car cannot legally be operated or parked on any public roads in the state. In order to reinstate the vehicle registration, the driver must provide proof of insurance, in any of the three forms allowed by law, as well as a reinstatement fee. The proof of insurance and fee are submitted to the state Vehicle Registration Financial Responsibility Program.

Drivers who are caught behind the wheel of an uninsured vehicle face potentially stiffer penalties, especially if the vehicle is unregistered or has had its registration suspended. The driver could face severe fines as well as the suspension of his license. In addition, a driver involved in an accident with an uninsured vehicle will also face license suspension for a year. In both cases, proof of insurance is required in order to reinstate the license.

The Additional Cost of not Having Car Insurance in California

Beyond the possible suspension of registration and driver’s license, there is an additional cost to not having car insurance in California. That cost is reflected when you do finally attempt to get your vehicle properly insured. Your DMV records will be available to any insurance company you attempt to get a policy through. Those records will indicate your reluctance to procure the legally required insurance prior to your suspensions, which will mark you as a high risk driver and cause higher insurance premiums.

When I think about the mandatory health insurance, it is pretty much the same. The government telling us we have to have insurance and if not there will be a penalty. Nothing has really changed except the insurance covers something else. I don’t have any answers, just my own thoughts on no matter what it is what it is. 

Then I think about the liability if we get in a car accident or get sick. Someone has to pay for that and if we don’t have the coverage than who will be paying for that? My guess is that it will be the taxpayers that will be covering everyone Else’s butt because they don’t have insurance. Each year there are hundreds of thousands of medical bankruptcy’s and people are loosing everything because they have no coverage.

ImageI will use myself as an example on this. Just last year I ended up in the hospital and the bill so far is close to $140,000. Yeah, that is $140,000 that I do NOT have. We have very limited medical insurance that covers only $2000.00 a year with no prescription plan. I can tell you this, that I don’t have that much money just laying around. But if we had adequate coverage, at-least 80% might have been covered. So now, I have the choice of filing a medical bankruptcy, not paying it, or whatever other choice is out there. But if I had coverage that covered these type of expenses, it wouldn’t be costing the taxpayer and the hospital wouldn’t have to write off that huge amount if it has to come to that.

Same thing with car insurance. If the person that hits you has no coverage, who do you think is going to pay your bills? It won’t be them! Sure, you could take them to court all you want, but you can’t get blood out of a turnip.

Since I will be able to get Medicare starting in April, I will still have to pay a premium like anyone else. I still have to pay co-payments and such. But it will be a lot better because I will have coverage and the hospital will be able to get paid instead of having to increase the fees to cover what others can’t pay. I would be more than willing to pay the bill if I had the money to do that, but not everyone has that luxury. With insurance at-least I feel better knowing that they are getting paid and not everyone else has to pay for what I can’t pay for.

ImageAs for the new mandatory health insurance, I can understand how it is a hardship for many that don’t have the money. I also feel for those companies that struggle with the rising costs of providing health care to their employees. I don’t know if there is a clean cut approach to this without offending someone. There is no way anything is going to make everyone happy. I’m sure with the next president, they will do something that ticks somebody off no matter what party they belong to. It has happened all the way throughout history.

The one thing that never changes is that I know that God is there and that people are infallible. I chose not to get into all the political stuff on this post because it does no good to argue politics and who is right or wrong. Because I don’t think there is a right or wrong in this. It is a change like everything else is. 

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