Senate Plan Would Explode Number of Uninsured Americans

If recent reports are accurate, legislation being prepared in the U.S. Senate would cause nearly every healthy American under the age of 65 to become uninsured.

Under current proposals, large employers would face a fine of up to $750 per employee if they didn’t offer health insurance.  Since that is much less than employers currently spend on employee health insurance premiums, most businesses would choose to pay the fine and drop their group health insurance. 

Individuals who did not buy health insurance would face an initial fine of between $0 and $100.  Since the biggest fine is much lower than the cost of health insurance, the bill would create an incentive for individuals to drop their health insurance and pay the relatively small fine. 

Finally, individuals would be guaranteed health coverage even if they had pre-existing conditions.  Traditionally, smart consumers have purchased health insurance when they were healthy to make sure they’d have coverage when they got sick.  The current Senate proposal reverses the incentives: smart consumers will drop their health insurance and only sign up after they get sick. 

Either the people writing the legislation are too stupid to understand that their bill would essentially eliminate health insurance for Americans under age 65, or they are smart enough to know that the problems they’re creating would pave the way for a massive dose of government control in the near future. 

Bryan Riley is a former candidate for Kansas Insurance Commissioner.  


If recent reports are accurate, legislation being prepared in the U.S. Senate would cause nearly every healthy American under the age of 65 to become uninsured.

Under current proposals, large employers would face a fine of up to $750 per employee if they didn’t offer health insurance.  Since that is much less than employers currently spend on employee health insurance premiums, most businesses would choose to pay the fine and drop their group health insurance. 

Individuals who did not buy health insurance would face an initial fine of between $0 and $100.  Since the biggest fine is much lower than the cost of health insurance, the bill would create an incentive for individuals to drop their health insurance and pay the relatively small fine. 

Finally, individuals would be guaranteed health coverage even if they had pre-existing conditions.  Traditionally, smart consumers have purchased health insurance when they were healthy to make sure they’d have coverage when they got sick.  The current Senate proposal reverses the incentives: smart consumers will drop their health insurance and only sign up after they get sick. 

Either the people writing the legislation are too stupid to understand that their bill would essentially eliminate health insurance for Americans under age 65, or they are smart enough to know that the problems they’re creating would pave the way for a massive dose of government control in the near future. 

Bryan Riley is a former candidate for Kansas Insurance Commissioner.