Eleven Alternatives to Obamacare's Individual Mandate


Government lawyers say Obamacare will fall into a death spiral if the Supreme Court strikes down the provision in the Affordable Care Act requiring everyone to carry health insurance. Without the individual mandate, they say, some healthy people will forgo insurance to save money. That will force insurers to raise premiums on everyone else, the argument goes, which will prompt even more people to drop out until only the sickest remain.

Judging from the skeptical questions posed by the justices this week, it’s possible the mandate will die. If it does, there will be some serious scrambling for another way to preserve the health-care law’s two key protections: the right of everyone to be insured and the prohibition against charging people extra for costly preexisting conditions.

I compiled a list of 11 alternatives to the individual mandate. Most would require Congressional action, which could be a stretch. The alternatives come from a variety of sources. Ralph Lindeman of Bloomberg BNA ran through several concepts in an excellent March 23 piece for Bloomberg’s ongoing special report, “Health Care at the High Court.” I also drew on a Government Accountability Office report, Ryan Lizza’s March 27 piece on The New Yorker blog, and Ezra Klein’s Bloomberg View column from March 28.

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  • Maybach1970

    I meant to say how are the homeless and jobless going to penalized and taxed if they are uncounted for??? Nobody is bringing this up when they say that if you opt not to buy into it you will be penalized. How do they penalize a jobless or homeless citizen that they do not even know where to locate them and contact them? Nobody ever said that and how they will pay their share. That is because they wont and cant. The rest of us will be footing the bill!! Wake up America.

  • Maybach1970

    They are going to provide insurance to everyone and it is suppose to be in our best interest. This money has to come from somewhere then how are all the homeless and jobless going to pay for this???? They do not bring up those category of citizens and where that money to pay their portion will come from. That is because we are going to pay for it. The ones that are still barely working getting by and it will be a disaster! This is going to devastate this country. If it is so great how come then the government employees and families do not have to go under our plan??? Why are they exempt? Again, who is going to pay for all the homeless and jobless that are uncounted for that they are not factoring in and nobody is bringing this up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Elizabeth-Danuser/698607027 Mary Elizabeth Danuser

    Am for almost anything else,but Obamacare.
    Maybe the next time as people,
     we’ll get a chance to tell Wahington,DC what is needed+wanted.Liz

  • Guy

    Why is it obamacare is called healthcare?Its about taxes and changing our country. We should pass a lwa that all bills must be about the subject they label it,period.Transparency right?

  • Samtman

    I read all 11 suggestions. if you t hink Obama care is complicated , you  ain’t seen nothin yet. Many experts on both sides of  Obama care saying that if Obama care is truck down Health INsurance cost will go up because lots of people who can’t afford it now will drop out and freeload in the ER, this will remove people from the Insrurance pool and raise Insurance premuims. Most l ikelyl Insruance Co. will have to merge and reduce the little competition  we have now.  The only way is to create a big insurance pool with everyone it, this will reduce cost and help everyone.  If only the Republicans can break  themselves away from their ideological noose stangling this nations progress. 

    • Bettywestw

      Unfortunatly it isn’t all about health care.  There are so many other penalties hidden in this thing, unbelievable.  You have to pay a portion of capitol gains when you sell property, plus penalties on alot of other thing &  health care will be rationed etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dee-Adams/100002183893525 Dee Adams

    Just cancel obuumer’s whole healthcare plan.  It’s unconstitutional.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Roscoe-Bonnifitucci/100000459519027 Roscoe Bonnifitucci

    Peter Coy’s 11 alternatives are crap.  The bill is a Marxist Wet Dream and needs to go away onto the Dung Hill of History’s Failed Ideas.  Try this:  #1 – Get meaningful Tort Reform in place now.  Add the stipulation the the loser in a lawsuit pays for all attorney fees.  

    #2 –  Allow Insurance companies to cross state lines.  

    #3 – People who live unhealthy life styles should pay for their unhealthy choices.  Fat, drunken smokers can not expect to live long and prosper, nor should we all pay for their idiotic choices.  They pay more.

    #3 – Spay / Neuter Welfare recipients, career felons, drug abusers and Mentally Disabled people.   Life is not fair.  If you are sucking off the government teat, then you cannot expect to get first class milk.  

    #4 – Promote price competition and advanced cost transparency.  At same time, get rid of overcharging those who pay to cover the slugs who do not.  We all need to be personally responsible.

    #5 – No payments for elective plastic surgeries.  They are elective.

    #6 – Allow Canadian drugs to be legally purchased via free market.

    #7 – Increase Charitable pools to help those who need the charity.  It works.  Just ask any conservative, they tithe.  

    • Allan

       Hi Roscoe,

      I do like your ideas.  I must say though I have heard some state that the only difference in the health cost of fat-drunk-smokers versus non-self abusers is that the “healthy” people live longer.  Supposedly they both experience similar end of life medical expense, only the unhealthy people die sooner.  The case is then made that healthy people actually cost more because they have more years of “minor” health costs prior to their expensive end-of-life costs, whereby unhealthy people get their end-of-life costs over quickly and don’t have the added burden of the longterm annual costs.  I really can’t speak to the accuracy of such claims.  Course healthy people SHOULD be able to generate more goods and services over their longer lifetime, such that whatever health costs they incur, they probably generate more societal value to pay for those costs, hence still a lower medical cost/year of life.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LYA7SQYUCTJ32X2C25IO4HPGXM Corrine
  • Guy

    Transparency remember/Stop obama NOW….Transparency right?Show us all obama’s occidental college records and obama’s real birth certificate,NOW.Transparency is what obama promised so be Transparent already.What is the cover up?Be Transparent as you promised…Show us all the fast and furious emails,all of them..Transparency remember?Say never to socialism..Say no to obama.