If single-payer makes you queasy, there's always the Massachusetts plan that requires everyone buy health insurance, like we do with auto insurance. CQ Politics is running a series on health care, in the first part of which Josh Goodman discusses the state's health insurance mandate in good detail. The plan is reducing the uninsured, and it continues to enjoy broad support in state. But it's not universal: it exempts folks who aren't eligible for affordable insurance—folks like Maggie. It still relies on private, for-profit insurance, and if Blue Cross Blue Shield et al. keep jacking up rates, they'll break Massachusetts as quickly as they'll break you and me.
I still say private insurance mandates are silly: if the government is going to mandate insurance, it might as well cut out the middleman and sell the insurance itself. I want single-payer, but we need to study all the options. Read Goodman's article, and tell me (and your Congressional delegation) what you think.
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