But when people abstain from buying health insurance until they're too sick to self-insure, that's different. Now they do make health insurance less affordable to those who want it, sometimes even unobtainable.
This entire situation is a good example of the mess an ever intrusive government will make.
If the market operated freely, people who abstain from attempting to buy insurance until they are sick would find they are unable to purchase such insurance because no capable underwriter would provide them with coverage. This being the case, their self-interest would be best served by their buying health insurance when they are most healthy and it is cheapest
By mandating that health-providers not turn away patients who cannot afford to pay them for their services, and artificially managing the service fees providers can charge those on taxpayer assisted programs, the government has caused healthcare for those who can afford it to increase. This increase has led to the point where an increasing numbers of people are forced into the segment which must receive care, funded by the rest of us, and thereby drive the cost even higher.
As a result the government must resort to increased intrusion as exemplified by the mandate provision of Obamacare, and if that doesn't solve the problem the government will need to intrude even further.
While you may find arguments why the mandate should be considered constitutional, many do not, and the fact that the constitutionality of the mandate is anything but a slam dunk indicates a decision in its favor will be groundbreaking.
Certain laws break new legal ground and so the fact that this one might is not reason alone to reject it, but it is reason to respect the scrutiny it will receive from the Court.
Most people tend to view the constitutionality of a law based on whether or not they like it, and if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional in a 5-4 decision, the supporters of Obamacare will condemn the politicization of the Court. Of course they won't do so if it's 5-4 or 6-3 in favor of the mandate, then they will praise the jurisprudence of justices Kennedy and Roberts...until they rule against another law they like.
I suppose there will be opponents of Obamacare who will make the same claims if their side is on the losing end, but I doubt they will be of such numbers or vehemence as their counter-parts.
It is ironic that folks with serious illnesses and medical conditions who require the most expensive care and cannot afford or obtain insurance are cited as examples of why we need governmental intrusion.
Despite what so many of our public servants seem to believe, the government doesn't have an endless supply of funds. In order to assure that basic healthcare is available to all citizens, it will be necessary to restrict expenditures for extraordinary healthcare, which is what so many of these poster children require.
Taxes will increase, and not just on the wealthy and business, and as taxes on business increase so will prices.
Americans may be ready to accept a lower standard of living in trade for an increase in government provided benefits, but I doubt it.
It's unfortunate that the election in November will not be framed in terms of what it really is: A choice between two very different paths and very different interpretations of what life in America should look like. Neither path is perfect and both have a downside, but the two parties will never paint a full picture of what they are offering, and so no one can do so and have any chance of winning.
For me it's a simple choice because government never properly delivers on its promises. Even if I accepted that Obamacare was well intentioned (which I do not) the program is a colossal cluster f-ck riddled with contradictory provisions, political payoffs and financial chicanery.
Even programs that may have been constructed relatively soundly and which the public appreciates are inevitably run into the ground by political games and bureaucratic administration.
The notion that we can give the government extraordinary power for one program and that it will not then continue to use and abuse that power is a fantasy.