Mandate Still Not Popular

By Greg Scandlen

A new survey by Harris Interactive finds that the individual mandate is still a loser – only 23% of respondents support it, while 50% oppose it.

Humphrey Taylor, the chairman of the Harris Poll, still tries to spin the results in the most favorable (to Obama) light.  The company press release says:

But certain arguments in favor of the mandate seem to sway opinion back toward support of the measure. For example, 71 percent of the more than 3,000 adults polled in mid-February agreed with the notion that “for health insurance to work, it is necessary to include people who are healthy in order to help pay for those who are sick.”

That seems to suggest that “while the individual mandate is still widely unpopular, indeed by far the most unpopular part of the Affordable Care Act [ACA], some arguments in favor of it are supported by most people,” said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll Interactive.

No, Mr. Taylor’s conclusion does not follow from the statement above. The statement is absolutely true — “for health insurance to work, it is necessary to include people who are healthy in order to help pay for those who are sick.”  — but that has no bearing whatsoever on the mandate.

Every insurance pool has a mix of many healthy people and a few sick people.  That has always been and always will be the case. No one has to mandate anything for that to happen.

Unlike Mr. Taylor, most Americans are full of good sense. They know that it is good to be insured so that they will be covered when they need it. As with all insurance, we are much happier if we don’t have to use it, but we appreciate the security of having it, just in case.

We have never needed to be mandated to buy it. Even now, only some 15% of the population is uninsured. Pretty good considering how expensive and bureaucratic it is. Make it less expensive and bureaucratic and a whole lot more people will buy it.

By the way, the poll also found only 20% think the law is constitutional, while 50% think it is not.

 

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