Affordable Care Act or A Clockwork Orange?

So, it’s been quite a few days since the Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of President Obama’s PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) and I’ve been thinking about this blog post for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to writing it.

Of course, I feel strongly about this whole healthcare reform movement, but that doesn’t mean that I actually have a clear (or even well-informed) opinion on it. Howeverrrr, that’s not going to stop me from weighing in.

Basically, I have very mixed feelings. On the one hand, I completely agree that our healthcare system desperately needs to be reformed. In many ways, though, I do not agree with how the Obama administration wants to do so.

Here’s my dilemma. The individual mandate portion of the ACA–probably the part that sticks most in people’s throats–make sense to me. It’s a very conservative value to believe in personal responsibility (which I STRONGLY advocate for). The concept of insurance — paying for coverage in case you get sick, BEFORE you get sick — is OK by me (sidenote: I’m becoming increasingly intrigued by the doctors/health systems that cater to people who purposely don’t have insurance and pay out of pocket, and adjust their pricing accordingly.. sometimes I think it’d be better to just go back to that. Have savings for “just in case” situations with the ability to pay out of pocket WITHOUT being exorbitantly overcharged for services.).

What I’m absolutely not OK with, however, is being FORCED, by the government, to purchase this insurance.

I’m gonna be all English-majory here (pardon the bad grammar and colloquial language — oops): this whole thing reminds me a lot of A Clockwork Orange.

For anyone who hasn’t read this book yet, go read it. It’s not super long, and although it can be pretty graphically violent (well, the movie especially), it’s thought-provoking and worth it.

For people who have read it, hopefully you can follow along. In ACO, the main character, Alex, ends up being “rehabilitated” (by the government) for his vicious criminal behavior. Without getting into details, that rehabilitation essentially conditions him to have intense physical reactions against any sort of violence or crime. However, it’s not him making a choice to not be violent — it’s more along the lines of inability to make or tolerate violent behavior because of the conditioning he’s endured.

Here’s the issue: even though Alex is no longer technically acting/being “bad,” it’s not his choice. The government-sanctioned conditioning stripped him of his free will to either be violent or not; he simply cannot be bad.

In theory, making sure criminals no longer carry out their criminal activities is a great idea. But that’s not free will–and that’s not human.

In theory, everyone having insurance which protects them against a future need for coverage is a great idea. It’s something people SHOULD do, just as people SHOULD be good/not participate in criminal activities.

But as humans, we should be allowed to make our own decisions. They may not be the best, or the brightest, but they’re our own.

So although I personally have insurance (and had it before the SCOTUS ruling), I support people’s rights to not buy insurance. It’s not the government’s place to make people make good decisions.

(Sidenote:) To preemptively answer what everyone brings up regarding car insurance: you CHOOSE to buy a car. You don’t choose to be born.

Anyway, there’s lots more contained in the ACA and lots more to be said.. but that’s all for now, folks.


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