"Docs4PatientCare.org is a politically neutral grassroots coalition of physicians. Use of any politically partisan terms does not reflect the position of Docs4PatientCare.org. We do encourage our speakers to express how they feel and we post articles based on their informative content only. Any politically partisan language used does not reflect the group as a whole. Specific party or political allegiances and opposition are not our intent. The goal of D4PC is only to advocate for effective and responsible health care reform."
The principal factual claims made by the individual mandate's supporters are that the failure to purchase conventional health insurance causes harm to the uninsured person (in the form of worsened health) and to others (in the form of a shifting of the burden of the costs of care).
The evidence supporting each of these claims is weak at best. Peer-reviewed studies from the National Health Insurance Experiment and other data dating back to the 1980s have concluded that there is little or no causal relationship between health insurance and a person's health outcomes.
What about the claim that the costs of caring for the uninsured are significantly shifted onto doctor and hospital bills, thereby raising insurance premiums? George Mason University Prof. Jack Hadley and John Holahan, Teresa Coughlin and Dawn Miller of the Urban Institute published a comprehensive, peer-reviewed study on this in Health Affairs in 2008. It concluded that "Private insurance premiums are at most 1.7 percent higher because of the shifting of the costs of the uninsured to private insurance."
The problems with the U.S. health-care system are mainly the result of a handful of government policies that have prevented market forces from reducing costs and making services more widely available. So what to do?
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has a new article on the subject of ObamaCare's tax hikes published in Investor's Business Daily. A key point from the article succinctly explains the impact on America's families, our patients:
The cumulative impact of government interventions has given us the health-care system we have. Because it subsidizes third-party payership, it destroys any hope of price-value comparisons by consumers. Because it commits the cardinal economic impossibility of trying to subsidize everybody, the end result is not better health but higher costs in the form of rising prices and the provision of services of questionable value.