You present an interesting scenario in defense of the individual mandate, but given the tenor of the debate against the Affordable Care Act, I think you're giving Congressional Republicans too much credit. Your argument still ultimately relies on a liberal value--that the hospitals who have to offer care for free are a social good--that I could easily see being the next target for "reform" under the conservative value system that seems to be dominating their discourse these days. For a better explanation than I can give of the fundamental disconnect between liberals and conservatives right now, have you seen this article:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/08/10/liberals-are-terrible-at-arguing-with-conservatives-heres-how-they-can-get-better/?tid=pm_opinions_pop&utm_term=.a57e0e4de56d
Thanks for your comment. I like that article--thanks for the link. I think my argument is very consistent with the idea that conservatives respond to points about fairness, desert, and not so much to consequences. Yes, I can see that a conservative could just say that hospitals shouldn't be available to people who can't pay and don't have insurance, but would they really say that? It could be that most conservatives do have a few areas of liberalism and likewise most liberals have some areas of conservatism. Supposing that conservatives do want hospital care to be available to people who can't pay, they're going to be stuck tolerating freeloading, and that's really anathema to conservatives. That's why they get bent out of shape about "welfare queens" and the like. Uninsured people getting hospital care are the equivalent of "welfare queens" so they really should be disturbed by them. But yes, you're right, they can respond to this point by just saying people should have to die in misery, without care, if they choose not to have insurance. I just don't know how many really would.
A few years ago I would have agreed with you, but the people in Congress pushing this seem to be willing to stop at nothing, say nothing, agree to anything, to not be proven wrong.
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