Author: Rory B. Bellows
Both the Senate and the Assembly approved a bill moves New Jersey one step closer to another massive entitlement program that we can’t afford. This bill extends $8.9 million for FamilyCare, mandates that all children in New Jersey have health insurance, and allows 20,000 middle class parents to participate in the program. This program was designed for the poor, but is now being expanded to include middle class New Jersey families. Some may think this is no big deal, but it is. This is a slow, steady encroachment into the private health insurance market which will ultimately lead to disaster for New Jersey. New Jersey is going to end up with a two tiered healthcare system. One tier will be people who have private insurance, and the other will be the residents who are left behind in New Jersey’s socialist, state-run healthcare program. Doctors are going to end up only preferring to treat patients with private insurance because they will be paid more and they won’t have wait out the delays in payment wading through government red tape.
The second part of this socialist scheme has not come up for a vote. This is the mandate for all New Jersey residents to have healthcare. Part of this bill is a provision that allows healthcare companies to charge up to 3.5 times the amount for a policy for older citizens as opposed to younger, healthier people. If all New Jerseyans are required to have healthcare, what is the incentive for companies to charge less for younger people? They won’t. People will complain about high costs of the healthcare they will be forced to buy and the central planners in the legislature will enact a single payer system for our state.
Mandates to buy healthcare encroach on freedom and liberty. The cornerstone of a free society is being able to make economic decisions as to what is marginal to you. If a young person in their mid 20s does not feel it makes economic sense to purchase healthcare and decides that the money is better spent elsewhere, so be it. That’s what happens in a free society. Forcing you to purchase healthcare eliminates your ability to make your own economic decisions.
Not only is universal healthcare an expensive entitlement, not only is it poor public policy, but worst of all, it robs you of your freedom.