The Spectacle Blog

Health Insurance Isn’t Car Insurance

By on 8.23.11 | 10:08AM

I immensely enjoyed David Catron's piece this morning about President Obama's limited grasp of the Constitution when it comes to Obamacare. I was not aware that Obama had told one of his town hall audiences, "There's nothing wrong with saying to people who can afford to get health insurance, you need to buy health insurance just like car insurance."

But Catron adroitly points out that state automobile insurances laws "aren't universal mandates." He writes, "Rather than forcing people to buy insurance simply because they exist, as the Obamacare mandate will do, state auto insurance mandates only affect people who buy and drive automobiles."

As a resident of Massachusetts, I am required to purchase health insurance either on my own or through my employer or face a tax penalty. (Thank you Mitt Romney.) But we in the Bay State are not required to purchase automobile insurance. Indeed, I do not have a drivers' license much less own or lease a car. So why would the state compel me to buy auto insurance? I should note here that I once had a poetic license. However, it has been suspended indefinitely. But I digress.

Yet you would be amazed how many people who argue in favor of Obamacare use the automobile insurance argument. So on some level I guess we shouldn't be all that surprised that Obama would use the same argument. When I have been engaged in such arguments about Obamacare and the person with whom I am conversing brings up auto insurance, I ask them if they should be forced to buy auto insurance if they have neither a drivers' licence or car. It usually brings the discussion to a sudden stop.

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