Should We Be Forced to Buy Health Care?



Dave Mann

I’ll start with a question: What items in your life does the government require you to purchase from a private company?

I’ll venture a guess at the answer: Nothing.

Care insurance, you say? Not really. You’re required to buy it only if you have a car. You still have the choice whether to buy a car. No car, no insurance. Same with home insurance. You’re still choosing to buy a home.

In other cases, the government mandates something but provides the means. For instance, you’re required to educate your child, but the government provides a system of free, public schools.

Nowhere in our lives does the government mandate that — no matter what — we must buy a product from the private sector.

But that may be about to change.

Congress is currently debating a bill that would require all Americans to have health insurance.

Do you think free access to journalism like this is important? The Texas Observer is known for its fiercely independent, uncompromising work—which we are pleased to provide to the public at no charge in this space. That means we rely on the generosity of our readers who believe that this work is important. You can chip in for as little as 99 cents a month. If you believe in this mission, we need your help.

Dave Mann is a former editor of the Observer.