Washington, D.C. – The Obama administration today announced plans to require all Americans to purchase automobile insurance or pay a fine.
“For too long, passengers, pedestrians and people taking public transportation have been able to take a free ride on drivers across the country, driving up insurance premiums for everyone – this must change,” announced President Barack Obama at a news conference as Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius stood at his side.
The Obama administration said that all Americans – including those that do not or cannot drive – must carry automobile insurance under the proposed law.
Sebelius told reporters that passengers, pedestrians and those who take public transportation must have the new insurance coverage to pay for any accidents that may occur.
“If someone is walking on the sidewalk and they’re hit by a car, the responsibility cannot lie solely with the car’s driver. If the pedestrian wasn’t there in the first place, they wouldn’t have been hit,” Sebelius said.
Holder also said the legislation would reduce lawsuits, because all accident victims would have their own insurance, and wouldn’t need to resort to suing others.
The American Automobile Association, commonly referred to as the AAA, praised the proposed legislation.
“Drivers have been subsidizing passengers for decades now,” said AAA spokesman Dewey Cruise. “No longer will anyone be able to bum a ride.”
Cruise also defended requiring pedestrians to purchase insurance.
“Have you noticed where most sidewalks are? Next to roads. Drivers have been paying for sidewalks for decades; sidewalks they only use at night after they’ve had a really good time,” Cruise said.
The plan also allows for subsidized insurance coverage for the poor, up to 400 percent of the poverty line. The IRS would be tasked with verifying that Americans carried a qualifying insurance plan.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the plan would actually decrease spending on transportation-related incidents by $1 trillion over the next 10 years by reducing waste, fraud and abuse.