Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Individual Mandates as a Moral Imperative


By Raymond H. Feierabend, MD

It’s no secret that the individual mandate is one of the most unpopular and controversial aspects of the new health care reform law.

It’s being challenged legislatively in the Tennessee General Assembly, and legally through lawsuits such as the one recently ruled on in Virginia. Two thirds of Americans say they would like to see a repeal of that provision of the law. Yet, seven in 10 Americans favor restrictions on insurance companies’ ability to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions and to rescind coverage when individuals become ill. Unfortunately, as long as our health care system is based largely on the private insurance industry, we can’t have one without the other.

Politically, passage of comprehensive health care reform would not have been possible with active opposition from the industry. Repeal of the individual mandate alone at this time would be vigorously opposed by health insurers and most health care providers, including hospitals and large health care systems.

Click here to read the full article.