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In addition to encroaching on individual freedom and increasing unemployment, health insurance mandates simply do not work. Among those who have pointed that out is Robert Reich. In a piece decrying Hillary Clinton’s attacks on Barack Obama, he writes the following:
We know from experience with mandated auto insurance-and we’re learning from what’s happening in Massachusetts where health insurance is now being mandated-that mandates still leave out a lot of people at the lower end who can’t afford to insure themselves even when they’re required to do so.
But why, precisely, don’t mandates work? Arnold Kling offers a succinct explanation in TCS Daily:
The reason that mandates do not work is that politicians are under too much pressure to “gold-plate” the required insurance policy. Organized lobbies and provider associations work the political process to force insurance to cover fertility treatments or eye care or other service, rather tha let individual families pick packages based on cost and need.
Several presidential candidates and a variety of misguided policy wonks are pushing insurance mandates, but we should just say “no.”