A country as rich as ours surely should find a way to make certain everybody has access to health care.
There are a number of possible solutions, but what do we see as the favorite? Baucus has in mind an authoritarian approach that imposes fines on those who don't buy health coverage. Why do we see something that gives the federal government authority to punish Americans for personal choices that are not criminal?
At this point in history, the federal government forces people in general to do only one thing: pay taxes. And the feds have the option of reviving military conscription. But forcing people to buy health insurance means forcing bondage to the insurance industry -- something New Jersey residents are very familiar with when it comes to onerous auto premiums.
Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile. Once this federal curb on individual liberty is in place, more will follow.
So, my vote is definitely no to the Baucus plan. The fact that his plan has the Massachussetts plan as a precedent doesn't justify it; the Massachussetts law is, I think, unconstitutional. In fact, the Baucus plan might easily be upended by the Supreme Court, bringing all that effort to nought.
It's a case of choosing the lesser evil. And the lesser evil is to put liberty first.
(Personal note: I have federal health coverage, but I would do without rather than see more encroachment of our freedom.)