Hillman Opposes Health-Insurance Mandates

Recently I’ve mocked The Denver Post for its stance on Halloween, and I’ve criticized Republicans over health policy, tax spending, and investment controls.

But on October 26, The Denver Post published an outstanding op-ed by Republican Mark Hillman that criticizes health-insurance mandates. The article is part of the “Colorado Voices” series, which often produces duds, but on this occasion the Post has found somebody who writes very well and who has something interesting to say. (Note: the publication dates noted on the Post’s web page sometimes precede the dates of print publication.)

Hillman writes, “Ironically, despite the abysmal record of lawmakers and bureaucrats to produce lower prices or create greater choice, the public still clamors for government to ‘do something.’ Perhaps the more logical outcry should be: ‘undo something’.”

Hillman offers the following main reasons to oppose health-insurance mandates:

* “[A]nother law won’t produce universal coverage,” because some people won’t obey the mandate or will be exempted.

* Mandated insurance would be a bad deal for many consumers, because “special interests perennially lobby the legislature to require you to buy things you don’t need, don’t want or can’t afford.”

* Politicians tend to require insurance to pay for care that “you could more easily and less expensively pay for… yourself…”

Hillman summarizes, “The end result is that you and I are no longer allowed to choose the insurance coverage that best fits our needs, and insurance companies can’t respond to what we want.”

Hillman perfectly captures the state of today’s health-care “reform” movement: “[L]awmakers and lobbyists control the health care market, as they have increasingly for the past 40 years; then they react in amazement when the product is something you and I either do not want or cannot afford.”

Hillman’s article demonstrates that both The Denver Post and Republicans can produce good work.

I do have one criticism of Hillman. I recognize that short newspaper articles cannot cover every aspect of the issue. Sometimes the moral argument is not the focus. But Republicans often seem to be allergic to pronouncements that hint of the morality of rights in property and income — probably because most Republicans are so busy violating those rights. To date, and as far as I can remember, I have not heard any Republican other than my dad (who I’m pretty sure is a Republican) endorse the argument: “Insurance mandates are morally wrong because they violate the rights of individuals to control their own lives and resources.”

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