Beydler: Is your health as important to you as your automobile? - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Beydler: Is your health as important to you as your automobile?

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Jon Beydler is a 32-year Valley resident and the former mayor of Fountain Hills who now lives in Chandler.

Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 10:19 am | Updated: 10:20 am, Mon Apr 9, 2012.

Once again, the nageling nabobs of negativism, or as they would like be referred to — the tea party — are once again screaming in the media about how evil the federal government is and how un-American it would be if all citizens were forced into purchasing a private health care plan under Obamacare. The coercion. The heavy handedness. The death panels. The costs.

Frankly, I was a little surprised, if not disappointed, that some members of the Supreme Court actually asked questions and made comments to some degree in support of those concerned about the whole funding mechanism behind Obamacare. It seemed like they were looking for some compelling historical guidance or rationale for asking ALL Americans to belly up and pay the freight for their personal health care.

Have they not heard about automobile insurance?

Last I checked, it was law that one had to have at least liability insurance for any motorized vehicle in the 50 states. In fact, as recently as last week, state Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, was pushing for the adoption of legislation that would allow the state of Arizona to hire tow trucks to pick up vehicles that were not properly insured here. His motion failed primarily due to the fact that the Arizona Department of Transportation could not validate that its database of motorized vehicles when cross-referenced against insurance policies was any better than 95 percent accurate. There were concerns that innocent people’s vehicles would be mistakenly towed. That’s a big “oops.”

I haven’t heard anyone lately arguing that we should allow motorized vehicles to roam our streets and freeways without at least liability insurance. And, I don’t know about you, but the state of Arizona requires that I, as a licensed real estate broker, carry at least a $300,000/$100,000 comprehensive insurance policy to protect those members of the general public who may ride in my car as prospective clients. In my case, I choose to carry even higher limits of insurance to not only protect my clients, but my family as well. I think you’re getting the drift.

There are many, many precedents and examples of how the federal, not to mention state government, has historically and successfully made the case for mandating that citizens purchase minimum levels of insurance to protect themselves and society. So why is it so bad that we are now asked to purchase insurance for our bodies?

Not one country in the civilized world can point to a successful health care system that doesn’t have some form of government involvement. In fact, Switzerland has a plan very similar to Obamacare that has worked exceedingly well providing access to health care for those previously unable to afford such, improving the quality and delivery of health care and actually lowering the overall costs. Under our current system, America spends nearly twice as much per person each year on health care than any other country in the free world and there are still over 35,000,000 Americans without health care insurance!

Capitalism and the private sector do not always produce lowered costs. Health care is a prime example.

Think about it: Is your health worth as much to you as your car?

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