According to a congressional report covered in the Wall Street Journal, large insurers denied policies to one in seven applicants due to preexisting conditions. This highlights the same problem we saw with denial of coverage of sick children. If we want a health insurance system that covers everyone — including sick people — we have to mandate insurance for everyone.
A system without a mandate that forces insurers to cover people who are already sick would be a system in which people wouldn’t buy insurance until they were ill. The cost of that kind of insurance is the same as having no insurance.
Mandated insurance with cost controls implemented by the insurers (including government insurers) is one logical solution to our health care coverage woes. The other approach would be one in which patients themselves are given more incentive to stay healthy and to conserve health care resources. Like I’ve said before, there’s no free lunch. We can’t get all the health care we want without paying for it somehow.