Sara Anderson had a comment on the Fucked Again post of a couple of days ago. She said, and I think I'm being fair, (you can look at her comment on that post): That requiring all people to buy insurance would require people who are young and healthy and probably don't now need health insurance to purchase it and therefore make the risk pool larger and since the new people would use the insurance less, the individual cost s/would go down for all. She caused me to think about what I'd written.
To paraphrase myself: I don't agree with what I see as her point. People buy all sorts of insurance (home insurance, life insurance, etc.) without being required to do so. I have family members who have made good livings selling insurance for a long time.
People do not buy health insurance because it is so expensive. When I quit working at legal aid, my wife (du jour) and I continued to pay for insurance even though we were both healthy and relatively young. Even under COBRA the price kept going up and up. Once we were off it sky rocketed. We had no health problems (other than allergies) and were both under forty.
I think the obscene profits and the insurance bureaucracy will simply be continued and institutionalized under mandatory plans forcing people who have little to spend it now on insurance, so the big boys get richer. And the rest of us will continue to be denied or physicians will have to have staffs to simply fight with the insurance industry to get the money out of them
The short answer is that I do not trust the insurance industry to not take the mandatory money and simply use it to increase their profits rather than lower the rates for everyone. I also do not expect service to be any better absent massive government oversight, which will in the long run simply not happen.