A younger take on health insurance

Mark Larson

The current debate about health care seems to center around whether there should be a public option run by the government. Republicans talk as if the world as we know it will end if there is a public option, but we all know Republicans are saying and doing anything they can to see a national health care plan go down in flames. Democrats say that a public option is necessary to hold down health care insurance costs, that it will provide competition to the for-profit health care monolith so people who do not have health care insurance have an another choice. Without competition, the Democrats say, health care costs will continue to spiral out of control. But if competition is good for holding down costs, why are Democrats taking away the most fundamental choice of every consumer: the choice to not buy a product one determines is too expensive? To choose not to have health care insurance is the ultimate weapon consumers have against high costs. This is especially true if you are young, for it is young adults who are least likely to require health care. If health care insurance is too costly, going without it is a viable option. And that is why the Democrats want to take away your fundamental consumer rights; they need healthy young adults to pay for the health care costs of older adults. But young adults will eventually get old, and require health care. Paying now will guarantee their health care needs will be taken care of when they are older, right? If Social Security is any indicator, donâÄôt bet on it. There is general agreement that todayâÄôs young adults will work all their lives to pay for older Americans retirement, but there will be little, if any, Social Security retirement payments left for them. There is no reason to believe it will be any different with the DemocratâÄôs present version of a national health care plan. Taking away the consumer rights of the 40 million Americans without health care insurance, and I am one of them, will make health care insurance more costly because it removes competition. And competition, as Democrats insist, is what is needed to keep health care costs from continuing to spiral out of control. Mark Larson University student