One key feature which the Republicans assert must be part of any plan to replace Obamacare is the right of an individual to choose his or her coverage. Presumably this freedom to choose would allow one to limit some aspects of the coverage, in return for a lower premium. Such a feature would be appealing to those who believe they are healthy, particularly the young, so that they will not need health care. They would likely select the lowest cost policy.

Freedom to decide one’s own destiny is an “All American” ideal. But, when it comes to insurance that would pay for medical care, is individual choice really as good an idea as it sounds ? Financial ruin is the consequence that faces persons of ordinary means – most people – who suffer a serious illness or injury, unless they have adequate insurance. This drastic outcome requires that the wisdom of allowing us to select limited insurance coverage be seriously considered.

Options about healthcare coverage only make sense to the extent one is able to predict the future state of his or her health. Therein lies the problem. Who of us can foresee, with any certainty, a life with little need for medical care ? While younger persons suffer much less illness and injury than the elderly, youth is far from free of serious conditions. It is foolhardy to ignore the reality that noone is capable of determining, ahead of time, whether he or she will be blessed with good health. But that is exactly what the congressional Republicans would mislead us to believe we can do.

Those unfortunates who select a cheaper but more limited insurance benefit and then face serious health problems will be saddled with punishing costs. This, at a time when illness or injury has rendered the burden more difficult to bear. Unpaid costs of the impoverished will fall on care providers.

Any perceived current disadvantage to the young that arises out of the absence of their own low cost insurance pool is self correcting as they age.

Republicams should not encourage us to be foolish.

I am a lifelong Republican who is disgusted with the party’s lack of stewardship of the power it has held.

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