Alternatives To Mandating Insurance? Maybe ...
In the story - I heard this part:
"Len Nichols, a health economist who teaches at Virginia's George Mason University, says without a requirement for coverage, Congress might have to find another way to make the consequences of not having insurance even more dramatic.
For example, he says, perhaps if people don't buy insurance when it is first available, "if you ever try to buy insurance again, you'll have to pay three times the market price, and we will put a gold sticker on your forehead and say to all hospitals, 'You do not have to treat this person; this person has forfeited their right to uncompensated care.' "
Nichols is only half serious about that gold star. He is quick to point out that doctors and hospitals are bound by professional standards not to turn away patients in need of emergency care. So he says Congress may want to consider another option: Make the states do the hard work. Lawmakers could withhold federal funding in the health law unless states require people to have health insurance. That's how Congress got states to lower speed limits in the 1970s."
He's only half serious.