Opinion Piece Stumps for Reform’s Insurance Mandate
"On the surface, Republican and conservative opposition" to the provision in the federal health reform law requiring most U.S. residents to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty "seems perfectly logical," Walter Zelman -- chair of the Department of Public Health at California State University-Los Angeles, and chair of L.A. Care Health Plan's board of governors -- writes in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece. "There is a long history of conservative preference for limited government and individual responsibility," he continues. Regarding the insurance mandate, he notes that medical costs for individuals who "could have purchased insurance and didn't ... will be paid by taxpayers, or those who have bought insurance." Zelman concludes that conservatives should consider whether "the principle of limited government [is] so compelling that it should cause us to penalize the responsible and reward the irresponsible?"
- "The Conservative Case for Health Care Reform's Individual Mandate" (Zelman, Los Angeles Times, 11/20).