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Car insurance requirements may shed light on health insurance debate

Posted On Mon, November 30, 2009

Almost every state in the union requires drivers to have some form of car insurance. However, not everyone complies with the rules, which could shed light on the health insurance debate, an Associated Press report notes.

Measures in Congress would require that people have health insurance, which could help drive down costs for everyone. However, the way people treat auto insurance mandates could show that people may still refuse to get health insurance, even if it is required.

"Set fines too low and healthy folks may decide to simply pay them and not buy insurance," the AP report stated. "But if fines are too high, voters may reject the plan or worry they could end up in jail for not getting coverage."

The story said the insurance industry estimates that 14 to 16 percent of drivers do not have auto insurance. Coincidentally enough, that's the same percentage of people who do not have health insurance.

One difference between auto insurance mandates and the same requirements for health insurance is that people can choose not to drive, David Rivkin, former counsel to President George H.W. Bush, said. The same can't be said for health insurance mandates.

Both branches of Congress have considered healthcare reform. The House passed its own version of it recently, and the Senate is expected to debate its version soon.

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