My friend Brad posted the following on his facebook today:
Bought health insurance today for $80/month. That’s $20 less than my cable/internet bill and $20 less than a cell phone plan with unlimited talk, text, and web. Can somebody please tell me why we need Health Reform when something so important is cheaper then two non-important items?
Brad and I are for the most part on the same page when it comes to politics. Worst-case, we’re at least reading the same chapter of the same book. So I’d be preaching to the proverbial choir if I were to explain to you in detail the many valid cases reform (and by “reform” I really mean “repeal”). Here’s a short list to get you started:
- National Health Care will raise taxes on the middle class. Nobody likes higher taxes. Therefore, nobody should be in favor of national health care. Truth.
- Saying that no one should die because they can’t afford health care is the logically brain-dead equivalent of saying “nobody should ever die”. A fundamental, objective fact is that resources are scarce and they need to be allocated in one manner or another. This is basic metaphysics, people.
- Speaking of rationing vs. allocation…
- And let’s be honest; the “debate” about health care reform isn’t really a debate at all.
With all that out of the way… When Brad says “reform” in this context, he’s clearly addressing a broader population, many of whom are under the impression that the current market for health care and related industries is a wild-west free-for-all of a marketplace that needs reining in, oversight, regulation, and control by the government in order to achieve some nebulously vague form of equity. Straight-talk, he’s using “reform” the way Pelosi et al are using the word “reform”.
Straw-man comments came in, like: “Some people cannot afford 80 bucks a month!” OK. Is this a means-tested $80 that they can’t afford? Are those people paying for cable TV, beer, a vacation house in Petoskey, waterskis, etc.? Or are they legitimately needy. Let’s cut the crap and call a turd a turd, OK. I want you to always think about how many people “can’t afford” health care (or whatever) and then ask yourself whether they really can’t afford it, or whether they’re choosing not to purchase it in lieu of something else. This is important, it will come up later and it will be on the final exam.
Continuing accusations suggest that the only reason Brad got such favorable premiums is because he’s in very good health (because he does the P90X workout a lot – he’s actually a P90X rockstar!), or that he couldn’t have gotten that rate with a pre-existing condition, etc., culminating in the absolute and total endarkenment of “Too bad for them, I guess they don’t deserve insurance anyways. I guess they will just die.” (cf., point 2, above) Anyone who makes this sort of statement is clearly not interested in discussion (cf., point 4, above).
Let me re-iterate what is probably the single, most important rule of insurance: it’s not “insurance” if you’re buying it after you’re affected. You don’t buy home insurance after your house burns down (or after someone lights it on fire), and if you’re talking about “insurance” in the context of someone who hasn’t taken it upon themselves to get insurance before they get sick or roll off a motorcycle, then you’re talking about welfare. Plain and simple.
Insurance is bought in advance, to protect against the risk that you might eventually fall ill or seriously injure yourself. If you do not buy insurance in advance then you are asking for welfare or charity and you are rolling the dice with your own well-being.
There is simply no justification for making me (or anyone else, for that matter) pay for your gambles.
I’ve talked about solutions to this problem before, but honestly folks, if you refuse to recognize the problem, then I just can’t talk to you any more.