In regards to the socialized medicine scheme spearheaded by President Obama and supported by democrats, you have periodically heard a comparison of health insurance and auto insurance in the debates and explanations of Socialized Medicine.
In the Obama media blitz of 09/20/2009, during the Obama interview on NBC's Meet the Press, the comparison of health insurance and auto insurance has now come to the forefront as part of the Obama sales pitch for a socialized medicine scheme. Obama mentioned the following in his sales pitch: ".....you've got an obligation to get health care just like you have an obligation to get auto insurance in every state". (1)
Health insurance and auto insurance is a good comparison? Or is a comparison of health insurance and auto insurance merely another characteristic of the "sales pitch"? What is the "obligation" in state mandated compulsory auto insurance vs. "obligation" within health insurance.
Compulsory auto insurance laws are required due to the bodily injury and property damage liability arising from the operation of vehicles. That is, the required auto insurance coverage mandated by state law is for the benefit of an exogenous party. Your "obligation" is that of liability to another party.
The owner of the auto insurance policy can not be liable to himself/herself and hence the coverage does not directly benefit the owner of the policy. One must remember that compulsory auto insurance laws do not require the policy owner to have physical damage coverage (collision and comprehensive coverage) that would in fact benefit the policy owner. The bottom line is, the vehicle owner is required to purchase coverage (obligation) that benefits others in the event of negligent vehicle operation.
Its also important to point out that compulsory auto insurance laws are not an end-all program. Regardless of the law, many operators still remain uninsured. Hence the policy owner is offered "uninsured motorist" coverage to benefit the policy owner if struck by the uninsured motorist. That is to say, regardless of the law, some vehicle owners continue to evade the law (evade "obligation").
Further, many states put "teeth" into the compulsory auto insurance law by requiring the Department Of Motor Vehicles to create a process of verifying insurance coverage on each and every vehicle. No coverage and you get fined. Continual coverage violations and they invoke tag blocks for 30 days or more (will not renew your vehicle tag). Although these processes do reduce the number of uninsured motorists, they do not eliminate uninsured motorists. Also, the process of verification creates an additional department within state Department of Motor Vehicles and a process there in, which comes with a very high price tag. In other words, "obligation enforcement" has a cost.
Health insurance is the exact opposite of compulsory auto insurance in regards to who benefits and what obligation exists. That is, health insurance is purchased for the direct benefit of the policy owner. Health insurance is not purchased for the benefit of an exogenous party. The "obligation" is to yourself. Your failure to purchase health insurance does not create a bodily injury or property damage liability to an exogenous party.
Hence, in the Obama sales pitch, you now have a comparison of insurance types that are exact opposites in regards to "obligation".