Talk:Health insurance mandate

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Lede explanation is highly problematic[edit]

The lede explanation seems to me to be saying that the Individual mandate is intended to prevent the problems of adverse selection and the rider at the end implies that adverse selection is not an important factor in insurance markets. This is totally misleading.

Adverse selection clearly is less a problem in health insurance markets, not in economic terms (which is the context of the cited references) but on SOCIAL terms. Sure, in economic risk terms, the elderly and the sick should pay more for their insurance if insurers are allowed to compete for business on price. In social terms, this is considered unacceptable because it means the unfortunate sick and elderly pay more for their insurance and thus face a double whammy... high insurance AND ill health (or the coming prospect of ill health). COMMUNITY RATING means that insurers are NOT ALLOWED to price according to risk. If, in a community rating system there was no mandate, healthy people would wait until they got sick before they bought insurance. This would mean that insurance would be able to do its task of spreading risk of ill health amongst the whole community and premiums would rise to something closer to an out-of-pocket health care financing system. Thus there is always a binding mandate in a Community Rating system to ensure that all people to have health coverage and everyone makes a contribution.

Those articles about the "problem" of adverse selection are about the scale of the ECONOMIC problem of adverse selection in a system where risk pricing against is allowed (i.e. the imperfections of risk assessment by insurers and the insured). Therefore they are irrelevant in the context of a social policy which aims NOT to punish people twice or being sick.--Hauskalainen (talk) 18:08, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

It's fine to discuss both pro and con material in the lede. But, of course, it's not acceptable to present opinions as fact. Sugar-Baby-Love (talk) 20:36, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Socially, one could certainly make the argument that people who smoke cigarettes, have unprotected sex, eat poorly, and so on should be individually charged more for health care verses someone else. As well, since insurance often makes the 'price' of a certain good or service seem 'free' at that moment, then people getting insurance makes them more likely to overuse care. I'm not saying I personally believe these things, but that's what mandate opponents say. Sugar-Baby-Love (talk) 20:50, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Hauskalainen said "If, in a community rating system there was no mandate, healthy people would wait until they got sick before they bought insurance. This would mean that insurance would be able to do its task of spreading risk of ill health amongst the whole community...."
Did you mean to say that insurance would NOT be able to do its task of spreading risk? Captain Quirk (talk) 22:42, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Hauskalainen, some of your edits introduced significant inaccuracies. Regarding the discrete concepts of mandates, guaranteed issue, and community rating, please compare the states of Massachusetts and New York: both have guaranteed issue and community rating, but only Massachusetts has mandates. (And neither is a country, so your edit that mandates are country requirements was incorrect and reflected a basic misunderstanding of how America's federal republic governs itself.) I corrected the errors in the article, but if you will please spend at least half as much time reading as you spend typing, we will get along better.TVC 15 (talk) 23:46, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

"State and "country" have mixed semantics depending on your style of English. There is a lot of cross-over and it is impossible to write one version that will be "correct". England, Scotland and Wales are all countries but are in a kind of union to create a State known as the United Kingdom. In the US the original States were independent states but pooled their sovereignty to create a new country, the United States and retained the word State for the subordinate unit. The countries of Europe have pooled their sovereignty to create a Union that is not a country or a state, but the member countries are now called states. So it is not as clear cut as you make it out to be. I do understand how Federal republics work and there is a lot of variation - as with the German, Russian and Yugoslav federations. As for any inaccuracies it is normal to be bold and just correct them - as I did with TVC 15's edit which stated that the U.S. forces everyone to buy insurance when many people do not have to buy insurance. The law says only that you must be insured if you meet certain conditions and gives you the choice of not being insured and paying a fine. I have added information tgo the lede about the two kinds of mandates - personal and employer and left just a reference to the fact that they are controversial in the US. This is because it had previously placed too much emphasis on arguments only really relevant to the United States (such as constitutional matters) whereas most countries have had insurance mandates for many years (Japan's dates back to 1911 for example) and the requirement to be medically insured is simply not controversial in the vast majority of countries that have them.It thus did not reflect the main importance of the subject globally. The US section was becoming quite repetitive with way too much information about what happened when and continual repetitions of the same challenges in different cases which, I have to say, seemed to me to be like using WP to play out political arguments. IMHO that information would best be served in separate articles about the cases which are in progress. Hauskalainen (talk) 00:40, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

What is a Mandate? The Affordable Care Act has tax incentives and not a mandate[edit]

This article over simplifies greatly. The definition does not apply to some countries systems which does result in everyone being insured but the term is applied to the United States where there is no health insurance mandate (although people think there is). In most Western countries, employers have some responsibility to provide or contribute to the financing of some health care services but there is huge variation and the term "mandate" is not usually applied to them and neither is the term insurance, even though the effect of the policies is, in effect, that the "insured" does not meet the costs when they are incurred but contributes to them over a longer period through taxation or foregone salary (for example where a Union negotiates health care services instead of salary.

For example in Finland, employers have to provide SOME health related services, but it applies only to services as it relates to employment. If a person has to go to hospital for a surgical procedure, the employer does NOT have to pay for the procedure, even if it is related to making the employee fit for work. The employer can pay if the employer chooses to pay for private hospital services but its not compulsory and if not the treatment takes place in a government hospital and the municipality will pay (less minor copay of about 30 dollars per day). But if the employee calls in sick to the employer, the employee must visit a doctor who is contracted to the employer and the employer must pay for the services of that doctor. The occupational health provider must examine the work environment at least annually and make sure that it does not create health risks and if there are risks there may need to be regular tests on employees health. The employer in Finland receives partial reimbursement from the government of most of the costs of providing occupational health services to employees. But Occupational health is a legal requirement and is covered by the law relating to Occupational Health Services but a large share of costs is met by the public purse. No insurance company is involved and if their is an "insurance pool" (not in practice identified as such) it is held by the government. So technically it is a mandate but and whilst employees are insured there is not an insurance mandate. Some large companies can employ their own doctors and nurses to meet the legal requirement. so there is thus some variation in the degree to which the law is followed by various Finnish companies. In the United Kingdom, employers have to pay a tax called National Insurance which was created to pay for health and unemployment insurance, but these days the connection between this obligation and health services is so loose that it almost does not exist. There is no opt out from this. Is this tax a mandate? Companies must pay the tax but is paying a tax a mandate? I think not. So actually, although the term "Health Insurance Mandate" its not used but there are elements of health service provision or finance that are mandated and the employees are in practice insured against most health costs.

My understanding of the situation in the United States is that employers are not obliged to insure their employees or finance their health care. This is the state of play now and will also the state of play after the Affordable Care Act comes fully into force. It does NOT "mandate" (which means "command" or "order") that people MUST buy health insurance or that employers MUST buy health insurance for their employees. Instead the law provides incentives, both tax incentives and subsidies to encourage people to become insured. But there is no compulsion to get insurance for oneself or an employer for their employees. Employees benefit from employer insurance because it is not regarded as a taxable benefit in the United States. That is a tax incentive. The new law adds another tax incentive for employers because employers who do provide health care insurance will not pay a health care tax. Small employers are exempt from this tax. (I do not understand the logic for this. It seems unfair on larger competitors and on employees, but there you are). This is another tax incentive. It is not a mandate because there is no OBLIGATION to provide insurance. Smaller employers and individuals who otherwise are not insured (by Medicare, Medicaid, or an employer) will receive subsidies. Individuals will also have a much smaller tax incentive to buy insurance (compared to that offered to employers) because or individuals who do not have Medicare or Medicaid or employer insurance to purchase health insurance through an exchange. Tax incentives and subsides are NOT mandates. So strictly speaking the use of the term mandate is not strictly appropriate in the U.S. because there is no compulsion, only a tax incentive to engage in an activity considered beneficial. The Finnish and English laws provide much certainty that employees and others are insured but they are not called mandates. So-called "Obamacare" does not have a mandate so there is no guarantee that everyone is insured. Yet somehow, it has become an urban myth that there is one. --Hauskalainen (talk) 06:29, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Hauskalainen, your opinion above seems unique, please read Section 1501 [1],and besides the article must reflect WP:RS, which say it is a mandate.[2] Again, if you would please spend at least half as much time reading as you spend typing, we would get along better.TVC 15 (talk) 00:14, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Hauskalainen, please read before editing[edit]

Hauskalainen, instead of reading, you appear to have resumed changing the article within minutes, inserting incorrect grammar and other errors, and without discussion. You seem to have stayed up all night doing that, and your contribution history and talk page suggest the topic may be becoming an unhealthy obsession. Please, in the interest of everyone's health, take some time to read. For example, if you thought CBO's 2009 estimates of how many will remain uninsured despite ObamaCare's mandates were too old, you could have read CBO's latest reports and updated the numbers; instead, I have found the numbers for you, and updated the article accordingly. You can learn a lot by reading, but nothing by typing bad grammar and incorrect information.TVC 15 (talk) 07:16, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I read your piece above and I have to say that I disagree with most of it. As I do the changes that you have made to my text. The times at which I edit are determined by my available spare time and no other reason, and I am not aware of any grammatical problems with my edits though no doubt you can enlighten all of us with your pedantry.

The last set of numbers from the CBO was needed but you seem to have added back reference to a very generalized statement by CBO on the things which would would affect costs made six months before the bill and the reconciliation bill were passed.

Also, you added text that said "everyone must buy insurance". That is not so. In many countries, and in at least one US state (Hawaii) employers are mandated to insure their workers so employees do NOT have to buy insurance. Prisoners do not have to buy insurance. Neither do soldiers. Neither do children. The mandate in US law is a mandate to have insurance, not to buy it. It seems to me that you are playing politics here.

The arguments you added back to the lede about adverse selection are completely irrelevant in countries which have mandates as their can be no adverse selection. What you seem to be doing again is playing politics with the article by adding pros and cons as argued out in the US. That is special to the U.S. and the data underlying the arguments are also special to the U.S. I have therefore moved them into the section dedicated to discussing the arguments in the U.S. The issues of adverse selection only arises in countries without compulsory insurance and chief amongst them, in the English speaking world at least (our audience) has been the United States. I agree that this is an issue in the United States and it is right to be mentioned but not in so much detail in the lede.Hauskalainen (talk) 10:08, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

restoring from blocked sock puppet[edit]

I've also restored the sequence of the original article. This article was created in 2009 because the individual mandate had become the focus of enormous controversy in the United States, where the President had recently "changed his mind" and decided to support it after having campaigned against it in 2008.[3] (Reportedly, he was "persuaded" by the insurance lobby, whose CEO was demanding that he "reverse himself."[4] Most voters had opposed the mandate when it became part of ClintonCare in 1994 and Hillary's Plan in 2008, and remained opposed when it became part of ObamaCare in 2009, as the public (dis)approval graphs for Obama and ObamaCare show.[5][6][7]) Wikipedia had several articles related to healthcare reform in the US, including specific articles for the debate, public opinion, and the subject generally. Each article referred (and still refers) to the individual mandate several times, so it made sense to convert the phrase "individual mandate" into a link with its own article rather than repeat everything in each of several articles. Unlike most Americans, Hauskalainen (whose Talk page says he is British and lives in Finland) supported the mandate and reorganized the article essentially burying the US debate under a long series of hastily written paragraphs about other countries, including some statements that were unsourced, ungrammatical and demonstrably incorrect. None of the articles about those countries linked to this article, and several of the countries mentioned did not even have individual mandates to buy insurance, so the effect was to distract rather than inform. Mandates are jurisdictional, and the most populous jurisdiction affected is the USA, so it makes more sense to start with the USA, especially since it was the original purpose of the article and remains the only source of inbound links.TVC 15 (talk) 11:00, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Regardless of the involvement of any socks, the changes you are attempting to make have serious POV problems. They're rife with WP:WTA, often rely on WP:SYNTH and are far too heavily weighted towards criticism rather than explanation. Much of it is just straight editorializing. Not that it's all bad, but if you're going to make such massive wholesale changes, the good is going to be thrown out with the bad. I would suggest addressing each of these sections individually (and that doesn't mean just a series of edits one after another, that's essentially the same thing as one big edit). --Loonymonkey (talk) 16:49, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
You simply reverted, restoring obvious errors, which does not help. You say not to do a big edit and not to do a series of small edits, so that doesn't leave any way of addressing anything. (Perhaps you are suggesting a series of reversions, but those would not update the article.) Also, your reversion had obvious PoV problems of its own, for example re-introducing the blocked sock's unsourced argument ("rationale") that went on for several paragraphs rehashing the two disproved arguments in favor of the mandate, burying the well sourced opposition. It is true that in the article as in life, the arguments against this particular provision do outnumber and outweigh the arguments in favor; that is why then-Senators Obama and Biden campaigned successfully against it in 2008, when it was part of Hillary's Plan. If I could ask you to look at just one thing it would be the opinion graphs showing how public approval changed over time: both the President and his plan started out very popular, then opposition and disapproval began to surge when the Congressional proposals introduced mandates, and exploded when the President reversed himself to endorse the mandate provisions:[8][9][10] The effects on his Presidency and his party have been sad to watch, but sadly predictable (contrary to predictions that the plan would become popular once people saw what was in it, in fact support has continued to erode as more people see what's in it). The mandate provisions were the reason CBO and other sources found that millions of people would go onto the public plan (previously called the public option, but no longer truly optional) as essentially the lesser of two evils, i.e. even if people didn't want it, they would be forced into an insurance exchange where they would choose the least bad "option", like the "all-you-can-eat" diet where you can have as much as you want of everything you don't like.[11] I do appreciate many of your contributions to Wikipedia and am open to addressing any examples of specific issues such as WP:SYNTH and WP:WTA. Alas though I've never been able to persuade you of anything in the past, so if you insist on an edit war I think it would be more appropriate to bring the matter to another forum.TVC 15 (talk) 17:48, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I said above that, unfortunately, good edits were getting thrown out with bad, which is why I want to address these individually. The real problem is the U.S. section were you've added (by my count) 11 paragraphs of criticism, not balanced by any contrary opinions. That's a coatrack and absurdly undue weight. Yes, there is valid criticism and yes we need to address that in the article, but right now it reads like an editorial by someone clearly opposed (which you obviously are, judging by the lengthy screed you just typed above). I'm not saying your opinions are wrong (honestly, in the real world, we're probably in total agreement). I'm saying that you have to be very careful not to inject those opinions into the article. Also, again, the language is a real problem. You can't say "reported" for things you agree with and "claimed" for things you don't (and then, even worse, follow up the things you don't agree with with a "however....") Please give WP:WTA a good read, it's really important for maintaining article integrity.
So we need to seriously trim that section. I'll wait to hear your opinion. What do you think the most important parts are? --Loonymonkey (talk) 02:02, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I combined the two versions of the lede using neutral language per WP:WTA but that change was also reverted, so I moved it out of the lede and down to the article where two other paragraphs had been removed. I do want to collaborate towards WP:Consensus but NPoV doesn't mean reducing the article to "opinions on shape of earth differ." Several states have guaranteed issue and rating limits, without mandates; it isn't PoV that those states exist, it's just a fact. Likewise insurance existed for centuries without mandates, that isn't PoV, just history. If presenting the facts even with neutral language happens to disprove what the insurers say, well, the article should explain why mandates tend to lose 2-1 when the issue goes on ballots. It would make no sense to have an article presenting only the insurers' argument in favor (as a post-revert lede did), without the evidence against.TVC 15 (talk) 06:35, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
In the spirit of collaboration and balance, I've removed two 2009 opponents of the mandate. Both Dennis Kucinich and MoveOn initially opposed mandates (especially without a public option), but later agreed to support the PPACA. Citing their earlier opposition without mentioning their subsequent support - even though that support was reluctant and pressured - overweighted the opposition.TVC 15 (talk) 17:42, 29 July 2011 (UTC)


This article currently includes Australia, but Australia has a hybrid system combining national health insurance with a 1% "surcharge" on persons with unusually high incomes who do not maintain private supplemental insurance. I read more about the Australian system, and along the way noticed that the separate article on healthcare in Australia should also be updated due to broken links. Australia does not impose a "mandate" or "penalty" per se and the vast majority of Australians face no surcharge for not buying private insurance. I wonder if we should move the information from the Australia paragraph into the separate article on healthcare in Australia instead?TVC 15 (talk) 02:07, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

On second thought, probably better to leave it in, but I'm gathering sources. Apparently, fewer than 2% of Australian taxpayers actually pay the Surcharge.[12] I haven't yet found how many are subject to it and choose to buy insurance instead, but all sources are consistent that the mandate only applies to incomes substantially higher than the average and median. In other words, while some supporters of the PPACA mandate cite Australia as an example in favor of it, in fact Australia disproves (yet again) the insurers' argument: the vast majority of Australians are exempt, yet no one talks about an insurance death spiral in Australia.TVC 15 (talk) 19:05, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm curious, can you give a link/example to someone making the argument you find to be flawed? Thanks. Jesanj (talk) 19:10, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
One example is an editor who has since been blocked, who made a lengthy unsourced argument claiming essentially that 'all these enlightened/developed countries agree with insurers that mandates are necessary, therefore America should too, and anyone who disagrees is a semi-literate placard-wielder who believes the President has a mustache.' In reality, very few countries have insurance mandates, and among those, some have no penalty (Japan) or exempt most of the population (Australia).TVC 15 (talk) 20:40, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Cool. I can't help but wonder... User talk:Hauskalainen? Thanks. Jesanj (talk) 20:47, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and thanks for your work there - I had given up by that time.TVC 15 (talk) 02:43, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Employer mandate[edit]

One day, long ago, we had a section on employer mandates.[13] In fact, employer mandate is a redirect to this page. I'll restart a puny section. Jesanj (talk) 23:30, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

If you think this article should have a section on employer mandates, I'll update the "individual mandate" links in other articles to direct to the individual mandate section of this article. They are conceptually different though so I wonder if the employer mandate might merit its own article instead, being more like a minimum wage law.TVC 15 (talk) 02:43, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

No relevent content[edit]

This article has almost no content relevant to what a health mandate is, does, how it works etc. And what is there is buried under single POV references. All I see here is a one sentence definition and the status of it in various parts of the world, specifically it's legality/practicality in the United States. Wyvirn91 (talk) 05:11, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Reorderd, reduced some bias information[edit]

I reorganized the article into categories discussing the mandates' supporters, opponents and constitutionality in the U.S. and I deleted some content from biased sources, and irrelevant cable news commentary. The article remains slightly unbalanced in opposition of the individual mandate, but I think these changes reduce the imbalance somewhat and increase readability. Unfortunately I do not have time at the moment to research legal arguments in favor of the mandate to include in the "Constitutionality" section, which right now only includes the legal arguments in opposition. These arguments are out there though, at the very least, during the federal court arguments over the Affordable Care Act, and if someone can find them that would greatly contribute to the article.Hendrickson03 (talk) 16:35, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Your re-organization has good potential but your changes to the text were unfortunately incorrect. For example, you added an unsourced and incorrect statement that the individual mandate has traditionally had support from the Democratic party, while deleting the quote from a WP:RS that showed exactly the opposite: most Democrats opposed it through 2008. Due to the content changes unfortunately I will have to revert.TVC 15 (talk) 04:16, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

If it has "good potential" why did you revert all the changes? It seems like you're particularly sensitive about this post, especially considering you reverted the changes I made to the article's organization.

I'm also concerned that you are trying to push an agenda with the content edits. The individual mandate, included as a major part of the Affordable Care Act, was passed in the House and Senate, with a vast majority of Democrats supporting the bill. It was then signed into law by the President, the head of the Democratic Party. Sure you will find Democrats who are on the record opposing it, but quoting random news articles about the 8 or so Democratic presidential primary candidates is much less evidence of "traditional support" of something than several hundred Democratic members of Congress supporting it. The same can be said about Republican opposition, so reverting what is really common knowledge to a phrasing that implies neither party really supports this policy, I believe, pushes a slanted viewpoint.

You also quote several TV news commentators who oppose the mandate as if they are a) authorities on the subject and b) there aren't an equal number of TV commentators who agree with the mandate. Filling up a Wiki page with dozens of quotes from random commentators who coincidentally have a similar viewpoint does not make for a balanced article, even if they are cited properly. Your reversions are more than unfortunate. Hendrickson03 (talk) 15:58, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunately your organizational edits were tied in with the substantive edits that replaced accurate sourced statements with inaccurate unsourced statements. I wish you would please read more widely because you seem to rely on unsourced "common knowledge" that in fact turns out to be incorrect. The Democratic party never supported the individual mandate until 2009, in fact Democrats opposed it in 2008.[14] Congressional Democrats were told by their leadership in 2009 that they could campaign on the issue in 2010 but that turned out not to be the case.[15] After the midterm "shellacking", and with polls showing 70% of registered voters oppose the individual mandate and believe it is unconstitutional,[16] time will tell what the Democratic party decides in 2012.TVC 15 (talk) 17:51, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

"Democrats" and "Democratic Party" are not interchangeable. You continue to say this, and cite articles showing that yes, there have always been some Democrats who opposed the individual mandate, but this does not mean it was a party-wide position. What is an indication of a party-wide position is when a Democraticially-controlled House and a Democratically-controlled Senate pass a bill signed by a Democratic President. That is a policy consensus, regardless of what people said in 2008. In 2009, it became a party position, and it remains one today. As I mentioned below, I do concede that you are right, there was no party consensus in 2008 but no consensus in favor of or opposed to the mandate.

Also inaccurate is this sentence: "Congressional Democrats were told by their leadership in 2009 that they could campaign on the issue in 2010 but that turned out not to be the case." It is inaccurate both because it is not true on the face of it, but the Politico article you cite also does not say this. The Politico article says that Democrats who voted against the Affordable Care Act campaigned against it in 2010. It also says that Democratic leadership was ok with this. These are all facts, as they were reported by numerous sources. I'd go as far to say it is common knowledge, but hey, thats just me.

It continues to look like you are more interested in getting opposing arguments out there than discussing both sides in a balanced manner. Hendrickson03 (talk) 01:53, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

From the 2010 Politico link above:

"no Democratic incumbent — in the House or in the Senate — has run a pro-reform TV ad since April, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) ran one."

This month, David Plouffe said the Democratic party doesn't even have a 2012 platform committee yet, let alone a platform. In 2008 Democrats _opposed_ the mandate, in 2010 they enacted it but then didn't campaign on it because the voters rejected it, and in 2012 the party has yet to decide a platform. Moreover, the reason why voters reject the mandate is because the arguments against it are stronger and more numerous than the arguments in favor (which are stated in the article btw, and relentlessly trumpeted by AHIP and Kaiser). Although you might be in the small % who support the mandate, you can't possibly be on the Democratic platform committee, because there isn't one yet, so your "common knowledge" is not a WP:RS for the party's platform.TVC 15 (talk) 02:17, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

POV Concerns[edit]

Concerned that organizational reversions by the original editor take away from the article's clarity, and repeated substantive reversions lead to an overall implication that the insurance mandate is unpopular. The editor justifies this by stating that all of their contributions are properly sourced, and I do not dispute that. My concern is that the article is heavy on quotes from individual mandate opposition, and lacks quotes from mandate supporters. I am also concerned that newspaper and television commentators are frequently cited as valid sources for claims of the mandate's unpopularity, when the several news commentators who support the individual mandate are not cited at all. I have a similar concern over the citing of public polling, as only polls that show an opposition to the individual mandate are cited. Citing polls, in general, is probably not something the article should include, since there are so many. Likewise, the legal arguments over the individual mandate's constitutionality are not evenly cited. There is no inclusion of constitutional arguments in favor of the individual mandate, even though these are publicly available due to the several court cases.

I think we could probably come to a resolution on the use of the phrase "traditionally supported" by taking it out entirely. The fact is that the political support over the individual mandate has changed over the last 20 years, and it has not always been consistent with political parties. I think the original editor would agree with this, and I respect their views. I think phrasing should be something like "support for the individual mandate has not been consistent with political parties, until 2009, when it was generally supported by the Democratic Party and opposed by the Republican Party."

The original editor's constant reversions of often minor changes will also have a chilling effect on future improvements of the article. I for one would not want to spend a few hours researching constitutional arguments, post them, and find them removed hours later for less than valid reasons. This behavior is discouraging to other editors, which I think is evident with the above commentary. Hendrickson03 (talk) 17:05, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

The article has been edited by a dozen people in the last several months, with no reversions until one editor's recent re-write replaced accurate sourced information with inaccurate unsourced statements; that re-write got reverted.TVC 15 (talk) 05:00, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

My concerns with the balance in this article I think are reinforced by the last comment in the section above, where the editor states "Moreover, the reason why voters reject the mandate is because the arguments against it are stronger and more numerous than the arguments in favor (which are stated in the article btw, and relentlessly trumpeted by AHIP and Kaiser)." This is stated with complete disregard for the suggestions I made, such as describing both constitutional arguments behind the mandate, which are widely available. I would like to point out to the editor, the Wikipedia posting policy explained here:

Please note the following points: - While each fact mentioned in the article might be presented fairly, the very selection (and omission) of facts can make an article biased. - Some viewpoints, although not presented as facts, can be given undue attention and space compared to others (see Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Space and balance). - The text and manner of writing can insinuate that one viewpoint is more correct than another. - The author's own viewpoint is mentioned or obvious.

The last point is not an issue in the article, but I believe it is on the talk page.

Therefore I am reposting my POV concern and making a request for comment. Hendrickson03 (talk) 20:17, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Articles on the litigation focus on constitutionality, this article mentions the issue but is not primarily about that. Considering less than 30% of Americans support the mandate and believe it constitutional, it would be WP:Undue to overweight that position.TVC 15 (talk) 20:36, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm not saying you have to restructure the article around the constitutionality arguments, but I am saying if you're going to quote the legal philosophy of those who oppose the mandate, you have to quote the legal philosophy of those who support it. There is no consensus on how the Supreme Court will rule on the mandate, but many expect it to be a close decision (see: Given this, you have to lay out both sides. I believe the constitutionality issue is just one example of how this article gives unfair weight to those who oppose the mandate.

Wikipedia isn't a popularity contest, where if you cite a poll that backs your view, then all the post has to include is that view. I believe the policy I linked to above supports this, but we'll let the other editors in the community decide. Hendrickson03 (talk) 15:09, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

TVC 15, I came to this article looking for reasons why people support the individual mandate, and this is what I found: out of 13 paragraphs in the United States section, the 1st paragraph is neutral, 11 paragraphs are about why people oppose it, and there is 1 single paragraph in the middle that gives some vague quotes from some supporters. On this page you claim that only 30% of people support the mandate and therefore only 1 vague paragraph is enough to cover the supporting viewpoints? You cited a single Gallup poll to support that 30% claim (which isn't very convincing), but that same article says "There is sharp partisan divide over support for the health care law - 87 percent of Republicans favor repeal of the health care overhaul, while 77 percent of Democrats oppose it." There is clearly more support for this issue than you think, and I don't think a poll of 1040 random people accurately captures all of the viewpoints in this debate. It also doesn't matter if Democrats opposed it at one point in the past, or whether they have a platform committee - that has nothing to do with why people support the individual mandate. What matters is why people (not just Democrats) support it now. Therefore, I am adding the POV tag for the US section. Other people on this page (i.e., Misha Atreides,Hendrickson03) have also questioned your neutrality on this issue. Please do not remove the POV tag until this article is balanced. Winampman (talk) 00:50, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

It is interesting to observe how different people have thought the article biased in contradictory ways, and each person seems to assume (s)he represents total knowledge and goodness vs ignorance and evil. Winampman, if the Gallup poll is not enough for you, please note that ABC/WaPo found the same results[17], as have ballot results noted in the article. One of the editors you named thought the mandate had been an official Republican position endorsed by Bush 41 and Bush 43, and tried to back that assertion with sources that said exactly the opposite. The other thought, to the contrary, it had been an official Democratic position, despite the fact that the article notes correctly most Democratic candidates opposed it in 2008, and only one ran on it in 2010. (The article used to name Barack Obama as a 2008 opponent, but that was deleted by an editor who defends tirelessly the President from any and all criticism, whether just or unjust.) Most recently, the lede was converted into a lengthy disquisition on purported Republican hypocrisy, as if that had anything to do with a specific policy opposed by 2/3 of Americans (including nearly all Republicans and until recently most Democrats, and most Democrats now acknowledge it's unconstitutional[18]). If we are going to have a digression into politicians opposing each other hypocritically (egads, how shocking), then we would need to include both chief executives who at one time signed and another time opposed (Obama, Romney), but exposing particular politicians as followers of polls doesn't really say much about the policy itself. Oddly, the disquisition did not really add to the number of paragraphs and sentences arguing in favor of the mandate; btw if you would make the effort to count past one there are at least two paragraphs that contain arguments from supporters. But, if you come to an article looking for arguments supporting your own view, and you insist on holding to a view that has few arguments to commend it, then you are likely to be disappointed. The fault lies not in the article, but in your demand that your view must have more supporting arguments than it does actually.TVC 15 (talk) 03:43, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Like I said, it doesn't matter whether the Democratic Party or Republican Party used to support it at one time or another. The ABC/WaPo link you mentioned said this: "And 67 percent believe the high court should either ditch the law or at least the portion that requires nearly all Americans to have coverage." That is indeed a lot of opposition to the mandate. However, that also means least 20-30 percent of the public support this mandate, 60 US Sentators and 219 US Representatives voted in favor of this law, and you're claiming they voted for and support this law for no good reason, and they don't deserve to have their arguments listed in this article? You also said "most Democrats now acknowledge it's unconstitutional" but your citation link actually says 56% of Democrats believe it's unconstitutional (barely a majority) and 37% believe it isn't. Why are you trying to suppress the 37% who believe it's constitutional? I'm not asking for this article to be split 50/50 but can we at least have 30% of the article describing solid reasons for why 60 Senators, 219 Representatives, 37% of Democrats, and 30% of the public support this mandate? If you claim to be a neutral Wikipedia editor then surely you can agree to this. Winampman (talk) 22:55, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Regarding the Congressional votes, the article used to mention Representative Kucinich, who voted against but then switched his vote because he became persuaded that Obama's "Presidency was at stake." Likewise polling has shown for three years that supporters of the legislation remain a subset of supporters of the President who signed his name onto it. That isn't really an argument in favor of the mandate per se. The article used to quote him on the subject, saying the mandate would make premiums go down, but that got deleted by a different editor after CBO and others refuted it. Some have argued that the mandate may be upheld constitutionally, and the article will likely need to be updated following an imminent SCOTUS decision, but saying something is constitutional isn't really an argument in favor of it either. Conscription is constitutional, and slavery used to be, but being constitutional didn't make them great ideas. Frontline reported pretty thoroughly on "solid reasons" why certain Senators insisted on the mandate: they had received millions of dollars from AHIP member corporations. AHIP revenue maximization might be a "solid reason" from their perspective, but it's already mentioned in the article so it isn't missing.TVC 15 (talk) 18:44, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

I never said "being constitutional" is a reason to be in favor of it. Maybe you misunderstood my point, so let me explain again. A significant portion of Democrats support the mandate (56% support, according to this recent article, 2nd paragraph from the bottom [19]) and they support it for a specific set of reasons that should be mentioned in this article. The article says that the mandate is controversial. Do you agree with that? If so, then a controversial issue needs to list both sides of the argument -- with proper citations, of course. You cannot simply claim that mandate supporters are wrong and therefore do not deserve to have their opinions mentioned in the article. If you still don't understand what I'm saying, then please take a look at this article: Same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States#Debate. This is a well-written article. Notice that under the "Debate" section it mentions statements made by prominent Republicans as well as Democrats. There are also subsections for "Support" and "Opposition" that clearly list both sides of the argument. That is what this mandate article should look like. Just because Republican Wikipedia editors think same sex marriage is wrong, or unconstitutional, doesn't mean they're allowed to go in and delete all of the paragraphs and sections about support for same sex marriage. The same applies to this article. If you continue to prevent opposing viewpoints (with proper citations) from being mentioned in this article then we can raise this issue to a neutrality noticeboard and see what other people think (as mentioned on the dispute resolution page). Winampman (talk) 16:58, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Request for Comment: Should this article include more quotes from individual mandate supporters in politics?[edit]

Talk:Health insurance mandate Should this article include more quotes from individual mandate supporters in politics, the media, and from a legal perspective? Hendrickson03 (talk) 20:24, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Against: In some sense the question of whether to have more or less political comments rather misses the point. I am sorry to say that I find this article rather wanting of any encyclopedic content. As I understand it wiki articles are not meant to be political blogs, balanced or otherwise. A balanced political blog is I believe just as bad. There is another article that could be significantly improved but which has better foundations than this article. single-payer health care Isthisuseful (talk) 17:33, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Isthisuseful (talk) 17:35, 28 April 2012 (UTC)I am responding to an unsolicited RFC.

  • Support: Reading the page now, especially [[20]], the uninitiated would get the impression that individual mandates is universally opposed in the United States. I also found it strange that even the lecture of a little known Georgetown professor is cited. It smells a little political, I'm sorry to say.

Additionally, the following paragraph is riddled with so many contentious and inaccurate statements, I am literally shocked how it has managed to get on the page in the first place.

"However, the idea has traditionally gathered support from insurance companies and some politicians within the Republican Party (Charles Grassley, Mitt Romney, and the late John Chafee are examples), and became part of the defeated Clinton health care plan of 1993 and Hillary Clinton's plan in 2008. Some sources trace the idea to the Heritage Foundation around 1990, but the Heritage Foundation has since concluded that the mandate is unconstitutional."

ps: I am also concerned that the page is too America-centric.Misha Atreides (talk) 03:33, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

The comment above surprises me very much, because the statements described as "inaccurate" are entirely accurate, well sourced, and uncontested. For example, AHIP is on record supporting the mandate, they still do, and Mitt Romney famously signed one in Massachusetts. As for other countries, there is nothing stopping anyone from adding more information about other countries, there just aren't many that have a provision like this.TVC 15 (talk) 02:51, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I could find some citations if you like, but for the time being, allow me to comment on several points from the cited paragraph.
The majority, not some, of Republican legislators, were in support of individual mandates. Beginning from President Nixon's Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan in 1974, GOP legislators have been consistently in favor of individual mandates. In fact, most were still in favor of Governor Romney's healthcare plan right until the time he left office in 2007. Even the Heritage Foundation was supportive of Massachusetts healthcare proposal. The situation changed drastically in 2008, though. Furthermore, Republican support of individual mandates were not limited to Senator Chafee alone. Presidents Nixon, Reagan, H.W. Bush and W. Bush, at one time or another, supported individual mandates.
Please look up the words majority and some. You seem now to be saying the facts in the article are accurate, you just want to add more assertions, which would require WP:RS. You are incorrect about Nixon, who emphasized that his plan would be voluntary. I never heard either of the Bushes weigh in on the issue, and I doubt a majority of Republicans ever favored an insurance mandate, but it would be interesting if you can find something. The article mentions Heritage, where the idea appeared in a report around 1990, but I don't recall Heritage ever officially endorsing it and they have since concluded it is unconstitutional.TVC 15 (talk) 06:12, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
In the talk page above, the were some discussion about the Finnish and British health care mandates. Can we request the editors to include that in the article to broaden its coverage? Thanks Misha Atreides (talk) 03:33, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Britain doesn't have a health insurance mandate. Also, the comment above says that in Finland "there is not an insurance mandate."TVC 15 (talk) 06:12, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Please do not break my comments and post your responses at its end. Further, asking me to look up the meaning of words does not help the discussion. We both know the difference between the two words, and the impact it has on the entire sentence. For the record, I continue to challenge the accuracy of the points. Let's be clear on this.
  • (i) This is Nixon's 1974 presentation of his health care proposal. I draw your attention to this sentence: "Every employer would be required to offer all full-time employees the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan."
  • (ii)The fact that you never heard' either of the Bushes speaking about this does not mean it is not true. This article provides an overview of the steps taken by the George H.W Bush's administration to introduce a healthcare proposal driven by the individual mandate. George W. Bush, meanwhile, was supportive, and contributed to several health care proposals that contained elements of individual mandates, as can be observed here. You can also watch Romney thanking President George W. Bush for federal authorization to fund Massachusetts health care bill here.
  • (iii)Romney also has this to say about Heritage.
"Special thanks as well to the Heritage Foundation... Two of its leading scholars are the ones who helped design and craft what we now call the Connector, which is the centerpiece of the insurance reform portion.”
The video also shows [Robert Moffit], Heritage's the Director of the Center for Health Policy Studies making the following remarks,
"We’ve been honored by your request, myself and my colleague Ed Haislmeier, who's done a lot of work on this bill,to participate in giving our best advise and our technical assistance in designing a new and different kind of health insurance market. A market that is patient-centered and consumer-based, which will ease access to affordable coverage for thousands of Bay State citizens. This is new. It’s a new market, where individuals and families will be able to own and control their health insurance and take it with them to from job to job… Nothing like it has ever been attempted anywhere else in the United States. So Massachusetts has raised the bar for every state in the union. And that’s the applause you’ve given to your public officials here today is going to echo far beyond the hallow halls of this historic place."
An editorial a month later by Haislmeier concluded with the following:
"Other governors and legislators would be well advised to consider this basic model as a framework for health care reform in their own states."
This took me about half an hour worth of research - and I am not even a specialist in the area.
ps: @Hauskalainen's comments on Finland was actually "So technically it is a mandate but and whilst employees are insured there is not an insurance mandate."
As for Britain, he has this to say: "employers have to pay a tax called National Insurance which was created to pay for health and unemployment insurance"
I don't think either of the statements agree with your own conclusion. He may be wrong, but no one here has proven him to be wrong - and he does offer interesting insights. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MishaKeats (talkcontribs) 08:23, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

I followed your links and they don't say what you say. The NPR link says Bush 41 invited a group of academics to the White House, but doesn't say he endorsed anything, and besides "what's being mandated in the current legislation is much more elaborate than what [Pauly's] group had in mind."[21] The next link, about Bush 43, has a handy table that says specifically his proposal included neither an individual mandate nor an employer mandate.[22] Also, please learn the difference (without looking up anything, since you say that is not helpful), because you seem to conflate the two, as in your quote from Nixon. (If you read the full text of Nixon's address that you linked to, you will find this about individuals: "One of these three plans would be available to every American, but for everyone, participation in the program would be voluntary."[23]) You have found that Romney supported a mandate at the state level, and the state level mandate had some support from Heritage; both Romney and Heritage are already mentioned in the article. (Interesting quote from the editorial you linked to: "Romney proposed that those who want to go without coverage could place $10,000 in an interest-bearing escrow account, which providers could claim against if the individual did not pay medical bills. Unfortunately, the [Democratic] state legislature changed that idea into a mandate: either buy coverage or pay a fine."[24]) You are a long way from finding support among a majority of Republican legislators, and not getting any closer.TVC 15 (talk) 17:53, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

From the Bush Senior link above: "The idea of an individual mandate to control health care costs, however, is not new. It goes back to 1989 and a man named Mark Pauly. An expert on health care policy, Pauly was part of a group of academics brought to the White House by President George H.W. Bush. The group's task was to fix health care; its solution was to let the marketplace solve it and create an individual mandate. Pauly tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that, at the time, many Republicans, including the president, loved the idea."

I don't think it can get any clearer than this TVC.

From the Bush Jr link: "Proposals that would fundamentally reform the U.S. health insurance system include:

   *health insurance tax deduction and tax on employer contribution to health insurance (President Bush);
... improving the affordability of health insurance for small employers (President Bush, Representative Johnson, Senator Durbin, Representative Kind, Representative Allen).
   Representative Pallone would require companies with 50 or more workers to offer and contribute to comprehensive health insurance for their employees and dependents."

From the Nixon link:

This is the paragraph from whence my initial quote came from. "Every employer would be required to offer all full-time employees the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan. Additional benefits could then be added by mutual agreement. The insurance plan would be jointly financed, with employers paying 65 percent of the premium for the first three years of the plan, and 75 percent thereafter. Employees would pay the balance of the premiums. Temporary Federal subsidies would be used to ease the initial burden on employers who face significant cost increases. "

This paragraph clearly describe Nixon's proposal, where companies are required to buy insurance for all of their full-time workers, and the workers are also required to share the cost of the premiums.

As for Romney, are you rationalizing their (Romney and Heritage) support for individual mandates by classifying it as merely a state level ? This was actually your initial statement "The article mentions Heritage, where the idea appeared in a report around 1990, but I don't recall Heritage ever officially endorsing it and they have since concluded it is unconstitutional." Am I to understand that your initial claim that Heritage never endorsed individual mandate has now changed to they support of state level individual mandates?

TVC, I have serious concerns about your objectivity here. This whole article reads like a political piece. It lacks a NPOV Misha Atreides (talk) 01:09, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Your first quote reports that somebody named Pauly claims Bush 41 secretly loved the idea; if you could find a WP:RS quoting Bush 41, you'd have something, but you don't. In your second quote, you misattribute Pallone's plan to Bush, and you confuse the employer mandate with the individual mandate. Look at Figure ES-1 if you are confused.[25] Likewise your summary of the Nixon plan describes proposing an employer mandate, which was never enacted, and says nothing about an individual mandate. As for Romney and Heritage, I keep reminding you that both are already mentioned in the article, so you haven't added anything except that Romney didn't initially propose it and Democrats in the Massachusetts state legislature "unfortunately" insisted on it.TVC 15 (talk) 01:56, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Support: - This article reads more like conservapedia than wikipedia. Its slant is pretty obvious and extreme. PantsB (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:30, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

This whole page needs attention. The United States Section needs very close attention and probably wholesale re-conceiving. It's very slanted and has numerous inaccurate quoting. Many quotes are clearly designed to alter the meaning and to deceive. It's troubling that these quote based deceptions lasted as long as they have. I'm sorry that I I can't do work on this now (and there are many experience editors who should do this, whereas I'm just an afficionado. I hope someone will take on this bear of a slanted page. Gcherrits (talk) 21:52, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Should this article be deleted - existing article Single-payer health care[edit]

There is an existing article that appears to contain far less political commentary. It could be improved. Interestingly some authors on this page have made the same comments as on this article. I suggest that this article is deleted. Isthisuseful (talk) 17:23, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

This article should not be deleted, it is about a clearly notable topic. Single-payer health care is a different topic covered in a different article.TVC 15 (talk) 04:46, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

History of mandate[edit]

I've restored this overview of the history of the mandate, which I believe is properly sourced and factually accurate. The previous version of the article completely failed to outline any history of the mandate before about 2009. The reader might conceivably wonder where the idea came from (the Heritage Foundation, in the 1980s), who were its primary advocates, and what sort of political support it has enjoyed over the decades. None of that information was in the article. I've added it. If you think it should be removed, please explain why.

As a separate issue, the "U.S." section is laughable. It does not make any pretense of informing the reader, or of serving as a neutral encyclopedic overview of the political debate surrounding the mandate. It's a mind-numbing avalanche of carefully cherry-picked factoids, stripped of any context that might interfere with conveying a resoundingly negative and partisan viewpoint. It reads like it was written as a set of partisan talking points for the 2012 election, not as anything resembling a serious encyclopedic overview. The absence of any history before 2009 is emblematic of the partisan political tone of the previous text. We should fix this and turn the article into something worthy of a serious reference work. We can start by documenting the mandate's history as an idea and as a policy proposal. MastCell Talk 04:29, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

We would collaborate more effectively if you would please read the article before sarcastically and falsely describing it. For example, you wrote, "The previous version of the article completely failed to outline any history of the mandate before about 2009." That is false. Read the article, and you will see it talks about the Heritage foundation around 1990, and ClintonCare, etc. You seem to believe that you know everything and everyone who disagrees is ignorant, which is unfortunately a common trait among mandate supporters. (And adopting relentless mandate boosters Ezra Klein and Paul Krugman as if they were infallible.) Please at least read this article before mischaracterizing it, and try also to read more widely instead of relying solely on boosters.TVC 15 (talk) 04:58, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
The article doesn't actually trace the origin of the idea, which is a major omission. It mentions the Heritage Foundation mostly to say that it opposes the mandate, and then uses weasel words to say that "some sources believe" maybe Heritage actually originated the idea. All of that is dealt with in about 1 sentence about halfway through a huge wall of text. That's failing the reader, and failing our content policies.

I don't know why you mention Krugman; I certainly haven't. Klein's piece was published in a highly reliable source with an excellent reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, and thus warrants inclusion. If I wanted to use it as the only source in the article, or if I wanted to cite a bunch of Klein's opinion/blog pieces, your concern might be valid... but it's really odd to see that you've stuffed the article with a bunch of negative opinion pieces and then criticize the inclusion of a single reliably sourced news piece because you perceive its author as partisan.

I don't think this article approaches anything resembling neutrality at present, but worse, I don't think it's at all useful to a reader interested in facts - like when and why the idea of mandate arose, which groups promoted it, and what sorts of twists and turns it's taken as a public-policy proposal. The article is basically a one-sided brief against the mandate, which is unfortunate. MastCell Talk 16:31, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

It's funny how you engage in precisely the behaviors that your Talk page complains of: "In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs." You started out by failing to read the article and then mischaracterizing it. When these facts were pointed out to you, you returned to the same position even more vehemently. You seem to find only Klein credible, and dismiss everyone else. You also seem to misconstrue the relevance of the mandate to the audience, i.e. you seem to think WP's audience is political junkies who care only about the political dance between the major parties as they try to get $ from lobbies that support the mandate and votes from the public who oppose it. Thus, you want the lede to reflect your political football narrative instead of starting with the fact that a mandate was actually enacted in 2010, and is in litigation and awaiting a decision right now. Also, it's interesting that you falsely accused this article of having no history prior to 2009 (even though it did), when in fact that is precisely the problem with Klein's article: he seems to present the mandate as having become unpopular only when Obama spun around and started supporting it. What about Obama's opposition to it, in 2008? Why not quote him? The article used to, but then one of his defenders removed that. If you want to quote Klein, go ahead, but if you want to know something about the topic, you're going to have to read more widely; you can't expect to read one author like a textbook or gospel and think you know everything.TVC 15 (talk) 17:28, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think I've said that I find only Klein credible. I've said that I don't understand why you object to including his news piece. As for the political focus, the mandate is a public-policy proposal and is thus inherently political. I don't think you can avoid a "political football" narrative, because the mandate has in fact been a political football (as reliable sources attest).

I don't really know how to respond to your comment, because it doesn't reflect my actual comments or views. I have no objection to discussing the current mandate or legal challenges to it. I'm saying we should also discuss the mandate's intellectual and political history, rather than focusing largely or solely on its most recent aspects.

I think it's completely appropriate to note that Obama the candidate was opposed to mandates, and that he switched to embracing them only after his election. That's reliably sourced and relevant.

Finally, on a concrete issue, I think your edit summary here is mistaken. Klein writes that the Bennett-Wyden bill "was eventually co-sponsored by eleven Republicans and nine Democrats, receiving more bipartisan support than any universal health-care proposal in the history of the Senate." I paraphrased that to "substantial bipartisan support". In what way do you think this is inaccurate, and what language would you propose in its place? MastCell Talk 17:49, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply. Your quote from Klein is fine, i.e. 20 total out of 100. Some people might call that substantial, others might call it trivial, but WP:NPOV would be simply to quote it and let the numbers speak for themselves. As for WP:RECENTISM, I think that in law as in science, the history may be interesting but remains secondary. The article on oxygen doesn't lead with the history of Phlogiston theory, the article on Bankruptcy in the United States starts with the current state of the law including its constitutional foundation and doesn't iterate through the political parties' political positions over the years.TVC 15 (talk) 18:00, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, Klein clearly presents it as substantial ("more than any universal health-care proposal in the history of the Senate"). If we're using his New Yorker news piece as a source, then don't we have an obligation to reflect his actual presentation of information? I also think it's mistaken to compare this to other legal articles; this is a public-policy proposal, not a specific law. Other such articles (Social Security (United States), for example) start with a history section. In any case, even if we don't open with a history section, we should outline the policy's history somewhere. I'm not sure why you keep removing clear, concise summaries of the policy's history. MastCell Talk 19:15, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Klein doesn't say "substantial;" you seem to infer "substantial" from "more," but an 80-20 vote would be a landslide loss. The fact that other proposals got even less support doesn't make 20 votes "substantial." The article already did present the history: the first paragraph noted current law, the second paragraph noted AHIP's support, and the paragraph about Heritage listed ClintonCare and Hillary's Plan. You call the presentation of Heritage support vague, but that is because it reflects numerous sources describing their report and the type of mandate they talked about, instead of a partisan over-simplification. What I have found most puzzling about this particular issue is mandate supporters' apparent view that if Heritage (whom most of them never agreed with anyway) proposed something (and in fact they didn't propose the type of mandate that was enacted), then it must be a good idea. To borrow a question from parents everywhere, if Heritage proposed jumping off a bridge, would you jump, or even mention it in an article about bridges?TVC 15 (talk) 19:40, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
That question doesn't make any sense to me, so I'm unable to answer. I'm also unwilling to engage you in a debate over whether an individual mandate is a "good idea", though I get the sense you're trying relentlessly to provoke such a debate. I'm not saying that the Heritage Foundation is "good" or "bad", only that it originated the idea of an individual mandate. That's a clearly relevant, accurate, and well-sourced fact, and the resistance to clearly conveying it is puzzling and disappointing. MastCell Talk 20:06, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
The fact that some guy at Heritage proposed a mandate 20 years ago was already included in the article, but it has nowhere near the importance of the fact that a federal statute includes one and is the subject of ongoing litigation. Klein's article seems to revise history a bit, and you seem to veer further in the same direction. Critical thinking would require asking this question: if Republicans liked the idea so much, why didn't they enact it when they controlled Congress and the White House in 2001-2007? A more neutral title for Klein's article might be, "Why a dozen politicians switched sides on a policy," and it could name the dozen Republicans who switched to opposing the mandate along with however many Democrats who switched to supporting it (e.g. Obama). Instead, you seem to insist that "reality" is "Republicans" (in general) used to support it, then switched because Obama supports it. Also, Klein's handpicked "experts" (whom nobody ever heard of) on constitutionality seem to overlook CBO's 1994 assessment that the mandate would be unprecedented. And, he seems to contradict himself on ClintonCare, which was also styled as "universal," and which had at least as much support in the Senate by Klein's own count; maybe something slipped past TNY's Department of Factual Verification, or maybe they got caught up in the rush to portray partisan squabbling instead of dispassionate history. Whatever, the fact remains that the article already presented Heritage in the history of the mandate, it simply didn't reflect your insistence that the most important thing about the policy must be that Heritage mentioned it in a report 20 years ago.TVC 15 (talk) 22:02, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

← I don't really have the energy to dispute this with you, particularly as I've noticed from your history that you've been very difficult to deal with in previous disputes as well. I will say that the article, as currently written, does a disservice to any reader who wants more than a set of anti-mandate political talking points. But I get a clear sense of ownership here, and unless other editors are willing to chime in, I don't feel like dealing with it at present. MastCell Talk 17:11, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Supreme Court ruling & NPOV[edit]

To all fellow editors: Here is the Supreme court ruling. 59 pages from Chief Justice Roberts and 61 pages from Justice Ginsburg as to why the health insurance mandate is constitutional and justified.

To TVC 15: I hope it is clear to you now that your handling of this article has been completely inadequate and misrepresents the opinions of all the people who support the mandate. And while it may not be over 50%, it's also not just a tiny fraction of Americans - it's still a huge portion of Americans. If you continue to censor supporting views, I will consider it a violation of Wikipedia policies. Multiple Wikipedia editors including myself have already brought up this issue on this very page (me, MastCell, MishaKeats, Hendrickson03). It also doesn't matter if you've been working on this article for months. You do not own this article.

You've claimed, in response to Hendrickson03, that just because only 30% of Americans support the mandate, it would be WP:Undue to mention their views. If you bothered to read the first paragraph of that WP:Undue section, it gives an example of what WP:Undue means - talking about Flat Earth believers (a tiny 0.001% of the population) on the Earth page is undue weight. Talking about 30% of Americans who support the mandate is not.

But to be fair, I think you've done a decent job of describing opposition to the mandate. I'm not asking you to remove it. I'm only asking you to step aside and let other Wikipedia editors add supporting views (with proper citations) so that this article looks more like this: Same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States#Debate. Winampman (talk) 16:28, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm still not totally sold on the idea of including detailed opinion polling, but if we do, then we should note: "Support for Obama healthcare law rises after ruling". Overall, given the recent Court decision, now is as good a time as any to tackle the uninformative, POV-laden text of this article and try to make something encyclopedic of it. I'd welcome your help, and that of other editors who have expressed concern and frustration with the current state of the article, since I think it will require a concerted effort to improve it. MastCell Talk 19:57, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I stumbled into this article earlier today and noted a serious lack of encyclopedic quality. I am a very new user, and most of my edits so far have strictly been MOS changes. I would, however, be more than willing to help out this article. I think it will prove to be a regularly viewed article as the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections approach, and I'd like to see this article cleaned up in time. Having read through the Talk page, I highly agree with the sentiments expressed by both Winampman and MastCell. This article suffers from serious POV issues in the U.S. section.OnionsAndPeas (talk) 19:04, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
It is good to see a new editor jump in like that! Gandydancer (talk) 22:03, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Reorganize sections?[edit]

I just added the cleanup-reorganize template. I'd like to get some ideas and opinions before digging into changing it. The reasons are:

1. The top-level sections break down the subject by nation except for the last one, which summarizes employer mandates in various jurisdictions. In the United States top-level section, the PPACA is discussed extensively, but there is no explicit mention of the employer mandate there; that is found only in the Employer Mandates section.

It seems to me that the details in the Employer Mandates section should be incorporated into the top-level sections for the relevant jurisdictions. Perhaps the section could then be made into a bulleted list or table briefly comparing the features of the various mandates in those jurisdictions.

2. The top-level section United States is a bit strangely constructed. After touching on the mid-nineties Clinton proposal and then "Romneycare" in 2007, it explicitly gets into the PPACA, but then ends with a subsection called United States which is a bit awkward: why would a section discussing matters in the United States need it own United States subsection?

3. That United States subsection is really primarily concerned with the Massachusetts case which predates the PPACA (and was somewhat a model for it). Shouldn't the matter there be distributed into its proper chronological positions within the History subsection?

5. This actually pertains to related articles, but I think it can be discussed here. There's a bit of imbalance between the individual mandate and employer mandate articles: the former stands alone as an article on its subject, while the latter is a redirect to the Employer Mandates section of this one, which does not describe or explain employer mandates per se. I should think that the employer mandates subject should have its own article, or perhaps better, a single article could be developed by incorporating both into a single article explaining both, with comparisons.

Rhsimard (talk) 01:16, 18 January 2013 (UTC) Rhsimard (talk) 01:19, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Most of the material is about the US and the stuff on other countries seems to be entirely driven by the current US debate. I think that's fine but we should just recognize that this is an article about a US topic and not try to pretend that “health insurance mandate” is such an important notion elsewhere. Breaking it down by nation might therefore not be the best solution. GL (talk) 12:38, 29 January 2014 (UTC)