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Argument: Mandatory health insurance cannot be effectively enforced

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"Mandatory health insurance?" A Dragon in Sheep's Clothing. July 3rd, 2009: "consider that those who refuse to get insurance may be fined. How will the rebels be found out – when they show up at the hospital? Will you have police stationed at the ER now, to fine the uninsured? Or will there be a door-to-door search?"


Glen Whitman. "Hazards of the Individual Health Care Mandate." CATO. September/October 2007: "The Problem of Noncompliance [...] of course, the mandate will not work exactly as planned. As anyone who's ever driven over 55 mph knows, mandating something is not the same as making it happen. Realistically, some individuals will not comply. [...] Forty-seven states currently require drivers to purchase liability auto insurance. Do 100 percent of drivers in those states have insurance? No. For states with an auto insurance mandate, the median percentage of drivers who are uninsured is 12 percent. In some states, the figure is much higher. For example, in California, where auto insurance is mandatory, 25 percent of drivers are uninsured — more than the percentage of Californians who lack health insurance. [...] Of course, the number of uninsured drivers might be even higher without mandatory coverage. The point, however, is that any amount of noncompliance reduces the efficacy of the mandate. If the individual health insurance mandate succeeded in forcing half of the uninsured to get coverage, it would arguably affect a mere 1.5 percent of current health care spending (that is, half of the 3 percent of spending that covers uncompensated care for the uninsured; the precise figure would depend on which uninsured people obtained coverage)."

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