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The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “ObamaCare”) is now front and center on the American political stage.
Many people are outraged about the “individual mandate” — that is, the provision that everyone not already covered by health care insurance (by their employers, for example, or by the military, Medicare, or private insurance) must buy insurance, with financial aid for those who cannot afford it.
But those same people are strongly in favor of another provision of ObamaCare, which prohibits discrimination by insurance companies against those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Well, you can’t have one without the other.
The idea behind insurance is that if everyone is covered —young and old, healthy and sick — you spread the risk and thereby make insurance workable.
Has the individual mandate worked elsewhere?
Yes, it has — in Switzerland, that bastion of free enterprise and capitalism.
Twenty years ago, Switzerland enacted health care laws (by referendum) that are very similar to the provisions in ObamaCare, including the individual mandate.
The result is reported in the March 26, 2012, issue of Time magazine: “Quality care remains very high, everyone has access, and costs have moderated. Switizerland spends 11 percent of its GDP on health care, compared with 17 percent in the U.S. .... Overall satisfaction with the system is high.”
Let’s stop demonizing ObamaCare!
It is not perfect, but rather than repealing it altogether, as Romney recommends, we should try to fix any imperfections.
Ann L. Ragan