The mandate spreads risk by bringing the young and healthy into the pool, making coverage more affordable. This is the exact opposite of a “high risk pool”.
Rising health care costs are thus a reason to strengthen the mandate, thereby making it more onerous for the young and healthy to duck out of coverage. Further, the young and healthy have implicit coverage in the event of a catastrophic accident; we should pay for this implicit coverage, not roll the dice.
Representative Jason Chaffetz spoke today about how the mandate is unpopular. Of course it’s unpopular, because the only people who directly see the fines are those who would otherwise risk it with no insurance. It’s unpleasant, and it’s designed to be. But the mandate allows millions more huge indirect benefit from lower premiums and *coverage*of*preexisting*conditions*. If they could see these indirect benefits, it would be hugely popular.
Individual liberty is always balanced against collective benefit for society. And the mandate, combined with subsidies, allows coverage to be more affordable for all.
Let us not blame rising costs on the Affordable Care Act, but blame them on those who hamstrung the ACA, wanting to see it fail. It is up to those very people to improve upon what we now have.