Health care drama winds down, but Obama's auto insurance analogy still troublesome

Health care drama winds down, but Obama's auto insurance analogy still troublesome

Washington : DC : USA | Dec 21, 2009 at 6:38 PM PST
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Dec. 21, 2009

`We're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you any more than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance.'' –Barack Obama, September 2009

You may be close to passing health care legislation, Mr. President, but your analogy is still a flawed one.

Driving is a privilege. Not everyone has a car, and not everyone wants one. But those who do drive automobiles have to meet certain criteria, such as owning auto insurance.

The human body, on the other hand, is something we all have. Whether you are a Luddite or a Techie, you have a body. You are literally born into it; it is not a privilege that requires a body education class at Age 16 before you can legally operate it under laws drawn up by the government.

Vehicles are quite a different matter, even for people who drive for long periods of time during their working hours, people like long-haul truckers, limousine drivers, bus drivers, pizza delivery folks and cabbies. These people are required to have insurance to operate the tools of their trade, just as the people who only drive to and from work, or who simply drive for leisure, also have to purchase auto insurance.

But let’s say Tony the Trucker just gets tired of driving. He moves from Tampa Bay to Tallahassee and gets a job as manager of a pizza place two blocks from where he lives. He sold his car before leaving Tampa Bay, and he has no plans of buying one in Tallahassee, so how in the name of honest debate does that even come close to resembling a fair analogy when compared to health insurance?

By law, Tony the Pizza Place Manager does not have to purchase auto insurance, because he does not have an auto. He has a choice in the matter. If The Punditty Project understands the new health care legislation correctly, American citizens will not have a choice in the matter when it comes to purchasing health insurance, no more than they have a choice about having a body. Another relevant point: Current technology does not allow for trade-ins on bodies in the same way it does for cars.

Like most representatives and senators, TPP has not read the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But when such an obviously flawed analogy is used to sell it, it’s hard not to be a little skeptical.


The Punditty Project: News, Opinion, Photography and Curiosities since 2008.

Punditty is based in Santa Cruz, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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