Should everyone pay the health care costs of the irresponsible?

One thing last week's historic U.S. Supreme Courtoral arguments about Obamacare clarified: You healthy people will be paying more for juicers, addicts, gangbangers, smokers, fatsos, drunken drivers and other assorted careless, thoughtless creatures.

The central idea of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the formal name of the Obamacare law — emphasized in the hearings is to spread the cost of health care to ever-larger pools of Americans. In particular, to those who pay low health insurance premiums, the young who choose to have no insurance and the healthy.

As Justice Samuel Alito pointed out, a typical healthy young adult annually may pay $854 for health care, but under the Obamacare mandate to buy insurance, he could end up paying $5,800 in premiums.

Continue reading on the Chicago Tribune op-ed page.

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  • Obamacare is not the best kind of national health care system---that would be single-payer---but it's at least something. The Republicans have put nothing on the table. Except to vilify Obamacare and let the poor, the elderly, and the underprivileged fend for themselves, a la Ayn Rand. How Christian!

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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