Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Should Health Care Be a Right? And Should It Therefore Be a Mandate?

The healthcare problem boils down into two main parts (and numerous subparts). The first is, that there are some people that the health care system will not serve, even though they reasonably want to be served. The other part is that there are there are people who are "overusing" the system relative to what they put in.

In the first category, some people that want health insurance can't afford it because they are genuinely too poor.  That's a fairly easy fix for a country as rich as the United States. Some people can't afford to eat because they are genuinely too poor. Our solution, rather than letting them starve, is to provide food stamps. Similarly, we can also provide health care stamps.

Also in the first category are people that insurers won't insure, because of high risks or pre-existing conditions. In theory, people ought to be insured "blind" (i.e. without reference to their medical histories, etc.) But that's impractical, given modern information technology. Most people today believe that people should not be discriminated against in any arena, including health care, for conditions basically out of their control. That is certainly behind the Americans With Disability Act.  On the other hand, insurers reasonably don't want to lose money insuring bad risks.  A solution is for the government to "reinsure" such cases by picking up the difference between actual and "normal" expenditures.

The other problem is that of overuse. This applies mainly to older people, who have genuinely "put in" money to Medicaid/Medicare and insurance, but now basically have carte blanche to use any treatment, no matter how expensive. This can be managed by "capping" payments under Medicaid. But older people should be able to purchase supplemental insurance with no caps.

A lesser problem is the "free rider" problem; uninsured people getting coverage without paying. The reason that it is "not much" of a problem is because most of these cases fall under other categories. One of them is indigence, mentioned above, which should be covered by "health stamps." Another is illegal immigration, which should be a matter for the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) rather than the HHS (Health and Human Services); I.e. we should deport illegal immigrants when they seek heath care, probably after they receive it, as a "parting gift." The few remaining free riders can be taken care of by billing them for the health care they receive, if they are uninsured.

Bottom line: We do consider health care a "right" in this day and age. But we do not believe it should be a mandate. Hence we favor a much less comprehensive, less expensive, bill than the one just passed.