WASHINGTON — Three days into 2016, the New York Times published an informative article that shows many Americans are opting to pay a mandatory fine to the IRS rather than buy health insurance mandated under the Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare.
For some, the cost isn't the issue. They dislike the lack of choices and options available in many Obamacare insurance marketplace plans. One contract part-time Texas engineer cited in the New York Times piece figured that it would cost him$1,800 to be uninsured this year, while buying an Obamacare plan would cost him more than $2,900. The number don't add up for people like this man, who would rather pay his own way should he need to see a doctor.
Healthcare is a contentious issue in the United States. Unlike some places in the world such as Taiwan, the U.S. doesn't have a high-quality government-run medical system that at least generally meets the requirements of most citizens. The U.S. is also not exceptionally generous when it comes to health care; unlike certain European countries, where the medical system is heavily subsidized by governmental grants.
The Affordable Care Act was meant to find a happy medium between a more socialist European-style insurance scheme and unrestrained capitalism. But Obamacare is making many unhappy by forcing Americans to purchase what appears to some to be an inferior quality product — on pain of a fine from the much unloved IRS — which this year goes to about $695 per uninsured adult, or 2.5 percent of the person's household yearly income.
Claiming one has a choice to either purchase selected insurance plans or pay a fine is oxymoronic, as no true choice is offered. The New York Times article clearly expresses the opinions of many who feel their freedom is being infringed upon.
The IRS says about 12 million underprivileged Americans were exempted from health care fines in 2014, while about 7.5 million folks paid the fine, which to some is simply a better deal.
Do you agree with those who oppose mandatory Obamacare insurance as a violation of personal liberty? Or do you agree with the spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who said it's better to buy into the Obamacare system as going without health insurance is a serious gamble?