It Has Wheels. It Goes. Splinter Note: This thread is a splinter from "New, Improved Obamacare Program Released On 35 Floppy Disks". Posts #1-8 are copied from that discussion. ‡ ‡ ‡ It's not quite that grim. Think of it this way: Do you own a bicycle? Actually, the answer to that doesn't matter; the example works well enough: • Imagine, please, if you would ... the government has just passed a new set of laws including quality standards on cars. An opponent of the law appeals to you that the government is going to make you get rid of your car. Oh, my goodness, is the sky falling? Well, okay, so, what it turns out that means is that if you "own a car", you actually have to "own a car". That is, there is no good reason, liberty or otherwise, to make you pedal your two-wheeled velocipede down to the department of motor vehicles, make you pay the excise tax or licensing fee for the "car" you rode to the office. Indeed, the businesses the government is cruelly closing are good car dealers like the one where you spent several thousand dollars to buy your used Schwinn. Wait, what? What the hell am I talking about? Am I talking about a car or a bicycle? Well, that's the point. Part of the question, metaphorically, is whether some insurance plans are really insurance plans. One of the Molina plans rejected in the state of Washington for the insurance exchange failed because its provider network was insufficient. Sure, you have insurance to cover that referral to a cardiologist, but your insurance company is going to make you travel two hundred miles to see that doctor, since they don't have any in their provider network any closer to you. In other words, it's not really an insurance plan of any useful effect. I got a letter from my insurance provider back in September; my plan is compliant, and while it will technically remain in effect for the next policy cycle, it will, in fact change, and as near as I can tell from the detail, it is as the political reality would suggest—my plan is about to get better, and it's about to get less expensive. The problem with people still not having insurance is that's how the individual mandate is designed. While it is true that unemployment is running a bit high right now, we can think of it in context in order to see that point. There is no time when American political conservatives won't rip on public benefits as provender for the lazy. But the truth is that our economy is executed in such a manner that unemployment can get too low. We actually need willing workers unemployed; as the saying goes, it's a feature, not a bug. Many get distracted in the political discourse by complaints that Democrats aren't compromising. In order to pass the individual mandate, the Republican-devised plan designed as an alternative to universal health coverage, Democrats gave up any pretense of universal health coverage. Remember, the whole point of this plan from the time it was devised was to forestall single-payer and use force of law to herd people into the private sector insurance rolls. That's never changed. How do you think Obama managed what concessions he did from hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry? He traded away single-payer. Meanwhile, it is true that about three percent of people already insured will see their current plan canceled and their basic premium rise. These are the ones who aren't going to be allowed to keep paying their motor vehicle excise tax for their Schwinn brand "car".