June 12th, 2009
09:06 PM ET
13 years ago

Health care mandates: How they work

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – Will the federal government force people to buy health insurance?

The answer may be yes, depending on the outcome of the debate in Washington over how to fix health care.

It will be awhile before there's any real clarity on how so-called mandates would work. But President Obama and key Democrats appear resolved to try to make health insurance work more like car insurance. If you don't have it, you have to buy in or pay a penalty. Some people would be offered
government subsidies to help.

Proponents point to the 46 million uninsured Americans in 2007. They also argue that the more people who buy insurance, the cheaper it is for everyone.

Forcing everyone to buy in would beef up the pool of the young and old, healthy and sick. That in turn would spread risk and help keep health insurance affordable.

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Filed under: Health care
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