Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is advocating insurance mandates for people who earn over $75,000 per year. According to the Associated Press story:
Gingrich called it "fundamentally immoral" for a person who can afford insurance to save money by going without, then show up at an emergency room and demand free care. He said those who can afford insurance and choose not to buy it should be required to post bonds to pay for care they may someday need.
The debate about mandating insurance typically revolves around the expected cost reductions. Those in favor of the mandates say that by increasing the risk pool, costs will go down for everyone (an argument that may, in the short term, prove counter intuitive, as shown by the Massachusetts plan). Critics have said mandates will create a new, expensive bureaucracy to manage, track, subsidize, and penalize those who don't comply with the mandate.
We believe that access to quality, compassionate health care is a fundamental human right. To achieve this moral imperative, all sectors of society need to take responsibility for ensuring that quality care is available. This means individuals, businesses, providers, insurers, and the government. Ultimately, the value of our health care system is not solely about the proportion of the GDP dedicated to it, but also as a vital differentiator of a productive society.