It’s very fair to send people who disregard the federal mandate to buy health insurance to prison, Nancy Pelosi says, because otherwise they’ll assault citizens … with a bill for medical services … or something. Apparently, the occasionally unhealthy have become such a security risk that we need to imprison them for opting to pay their own way.
Stone: Do you think it’s fair to send people to jail who don’t buy health insurance?
Pelosi: … The legislation is very fair in this respect.
Of course, the other option is to make people responsible for paying their own bills. Nothing requires us to pick up the tab for people in clinics or emergency rooms, especially those who can afford to pay their way. This is the point that Pelosi and her statist colleagues seem to forget. People who choose not to buy coverage even though they could afford it assume the risk of paying out of pocket — and that may be a very rational choice, as it is most unlikely that those people would use $3,000 a month in medical services, which is what their insurance would cost now.
If nothing else, it reminds us that statism always comes with handcuffs, and those cuffs always get explained by either fairness or patriotism. In this case, Pelosi uses both.
Greg Hengler at Townhall:
Open and transparent; change we can believe in.
Mary Katherine Ham at The Weekly Standard:
Pelosi doesn’t bother making the distinction without a difference that Marcus made for her. Instead, she evades and rambles about how citizens who don’t buy insurance (henceforth, criminals and tax-evaders, according to the bill) will be given ample chance and subsidy to buy insurance before they are ultimately put in jail. It amounts to, “Hey, this is good for everyone, and they’d kinda of be asking for it if they didn’t buy it.” She had a chance to say that’s not what she’s doing, and she couldn’t even muster a smarmy denial.
Much like the illegal immigrant coverage, abortion coverage, and the “death panel” criticisms, all of which have been proven to be distinctly unfabricated concerns during the process of bill wrangling, the idea that the new bill might send folks to jail for not buying health insurance doesn’t look that crazy after all.
Moe Lane at Redstate