Ah, yes. I was wondering when this argument would come up: "Forcing people to buy something that they don't need." From a personal liberties point of view, it isn't a bad argument, actually. If you want to prioritize that way, well, that's sort a personal moral decision. So we are all free to have opinions on it.
Here's the problem with it, though, as I see it:
If these uninsured people who "don't need insurance" were willing to sign a waiver to the effect that if they got unlucky and actually got injured or sick that they were then willing to quietly die in the street, THEN we could talk about personal liberty.
But they won't.
Instead, when that uninsured "young invincible" gets in his car wreck or develops leukemia he will, in fact, expect you and I to pay for his treatment, which we are forced to do under COBRA and similar laws. So he gets something for nothing, and you and I get screwed. And in fact we get screwed in the most inefficient and expensive way that could possibly be devised- via a hospital and an insurance provider, both of whom take a cut.
Mind you, I have no root objections to COBRA- the idea of letting someone die just because they are poor (a child, God forbid) is sort of repugnant to me. Thus, as things stand now, we need COBRA, and you and I end up paying for all of this. I (personal ethical call, here) think that having subsidized mandatory insurance is a better solution, because then MY personal liberties don't get infringed by being FORCED to pay so much for medical care for the uninsured... and thus COBRA is rendered superfluous as a side-benefit. (So, oddly enough, my support for the ACA has it's roots in my conservatism- I think the ACA makes more financial sense than COBRA. It's even more odd when you consider that I'm a flat-tax supporter.)
How's THAT for a personal-liberties argument?
It's also actually impossible to argue that someone really "doesn't need" health insurance. EVERYONE is at some degree of risk, even the young and healthy. Yes, their risk is lower, as indeed are their premiums. If you argue that everyone should be allowed the freedom to risk his health- well, as I mentioned, nobody really does that. Instead you and I pay for their medical care, and all they risk is bankruptcy. You may want to make that proud philosophical argument, but it simply isn't reality.
Here's the next argument you'll bring up:
"It is unfair that the healthy young people essentially end up subsidizing healthcare for older sicker people."
Wow, yeah. That is clearly a dastardly scam that can only be described as... insurance. :) (Quoting Colbert, there. Apologies.)
Personally, as a (relatively young) healthy person is it rather annoying to me that I end up paying for healthcare for some 70-year-old cirrhotic and vasculopathic turd who smoked and drank his whole life. But I could get catastrophically sick tomorrow- I am not immune. And if I get sick I want insurance. Thems the shakes.