State Representative Allen Kerr: Mandatory Health Insurance – the flawed comparison

There are a great many opinions concerning the constitutionality of the Obama Health Care Bill flying around within the media and web blogs. The comparisons that you hear the most in Arkansas from the pro-health bill advocates is that between auto insurance and the federally mandated health care bill. As an insurance agent in Arkansas selling auto insurance as well as health insurance for over 30 years I can tell you that there can be NO comparison between the two products. Quite frankly I am shocked that supposedly highly educated people are trying to make the two comparisons at all!

The distinct differences are not complicated as I will explain. First, Auto Insurance is only required if you “own and license” a car. There are a great number of people in Arkansas and the United States that do not own a car and therefore do not have to have car insurance.  With Obama Care every man woman and child will be required under penalty of law to carry Federal Health Care!
When you buy auto insurance you have a great many choices of plans as well as insurance companies to buy from. Each and every one of these private insurance companies is competing for your business, not only in price but in service and claims performance, knowing that if you are not satisfied you will take your business to another company.  With Obama Care there is only one place to get coverage with limited choices. After all, no two people are alike especially when it comes to their health!
Unlike Auto insurance which is privately paid by the customer, Obama care will be funded through a payroll deduction program, much like Medicare and Social Security, and will require the employers of any size to pay a portion of the expense.  We have already heard announcements from large companies what they intend to do to offset the increased projected expenses. Most will either reduce jobs to cover an already stressed bottom line, but a great many will simply move their operations overseas, once again reducing the number of jobs available for Americans and Arkansans.  In addition, we as individual tax payers will be hit with increased expenses. Not only will this bill increase our federal taxes but our state taxes will have to increase as well to cover the projected 250 million dollars we will need to cover the state’s portion of the cost.
Finally, let’s compare the service and the quality of health care you will receive with the new government owned and operated Obama Care Plan.  Instead of using auto insurance as a comparison lets use a much closer comparison of another Government run and operated insurance program called “The National Flood Insurance Program or (NFIP). ”  Most people don’t realize that federal government is the only underwriter of flood insurance in the country.  Your flood policy may be “issued” by State Farm or Farmers Insurance, but any claims processing and payments come from this federal agency.  Anyone who has had a flood claim or had to deal with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Assoc) will testify that it is a long and arduous process in getting these claims paid. Maybe you remember a little flooding that happened in New Orleans a few years ago called hurricane Katrina? Can you imagine having health issues and having to go through such a process?
Closer to home, just last week Governor Beebe finally recognized the failures of the state government in running the Human Development Centers both in Conway and Alexander and declared them a disaster. Just another example of what government run health care facilities will degrade to when left alone.  It was no surprise when the solution was to hire a “private” company at a cost of Over $800,000 for 6 months to come in and clean up the mess made by the state government. 
The 10th amendment of the US constitution prohibits the government from forcing Americans to buy any product or plan by force or penalty of law. If we do not compel our Attorney General to join the growing number of states to file suit against the Obama Care mandate there is no telling where this type of action by our Federal Government will stop! The next thing you know Washington will see fit to require everyone to only by Ford automobiles and no other car, all for the good of the country of course.