As an insurance broker, I'm alarmed about the mandate to purchase insurance or pay a fine. In my opinion, a majority of people will find it cheaper to pay the fine than to buy a policy.
I currently pay about $700 per month for health insurance for me and my wife, for an annual cost of $8,400. Under the new law, if I choose not to carry health insurance I would a penalty of 2.5% of my income -- that's only $3,750. It will save me $4,650 a year to go without health insurance.
It doesn't take a math wizard to figure this stuff out; it's really a no-brainer. If I get sick I can just purchase a policy when I need it because pre-existing conditions won't matter. As it's written now, the mandate is unworkable. I think this bill will actually make more people drop their coverage because that's the cheaper option.
There are some great things in the bill, like getting rid of pre-existing conditions, but I was hoping to see more focus on cost control. If they don't start reining in expenses, we'll continue to have heated debates for years to come. You can shift costs only so many times before it implodes.
NEXT: Vicki Draper, 47, small business owner