jump to navigation

“Health Insurance” Is Not a Crisis October 7, 2007

Posted by federalist in Healthcare, Social Politics.

I wrote about this before, but Democrats are not being taken to task like they should for their assertion that health insurance is one of the biggest crises facing America today.

Since they have so few positive ideas to offer, I guess they have to attack something. But if we’re going to pick something that a large minority of Americans don’t have, why pick health care? What about life insurance? Or credit insurance? Let’s dig up sob stories of people who couldn’t afford to pay their credit card debt. Oh, the humanity!

What does health insurance offer? Nothing more than a safety net. Liberals mention the uninsured in the same breath as the poor and the sick, but people without health insurance are not necessarily poor or sick. They are not 40 million citizens hobbling the streets on makeshift crutches and dirty bandages.

Human beings do not need health insurance the way they need food and shelter. Sure, nobody would turn down free insurance, and most people sleep better at night knowing they’re insured against catastrophic accidents and emergencies they couldn’t pay for. But nobody has a natural right to be protected against every bad thing that could possibly happen to them.

Why don’t we cut to the end and imagine the Democrats’ final solution? After universal health insurance, universal defined-benefit pensions, and universal welfare, nobody will go sick, hungry, or homeless, and nobody will have to work when they’re old. Which would let us move on to safety nets for the few suckers who continue to work to fund this welfare state: We’ll have to setup an unemployment system that continues to pay people their highest achieved salary in the event that they lose their jobs.

The digital-divide will be closed with universal telephone, cable, and internet access.  Then we will move on to the transportation divide, which prevents millions of Americans from owning luxury cars with all of the latest safety features. We will finally desegregate vacation destinations and gated communities by ensuring that impoverished Americans have access to the same mansions and luxury travel opportunities as everyone else, giving new shades to the slogan, “No one left behind!”

With all of these social divides and gaps closed we will finally be able to address the fundamental concern that any individual American may have been born with a below-average endowment. Talent-insurance will ensure that everyone gets to go to the best schools and earn the highest grades, regardless of how inherently smart or hard-working you are.  The genetic lottery will not short-change any American.  (And students will no longer suffer performance anxiety related to exams or school admissions processes!) Talent-insurance will also ensure that nobody has to lose in sports, no matter how unfortunate they were in their birth or upbringing. What a wonderful world: Government will ensure that nobody has to work, and everybody is above average. Why didn’t the Republicans think of it first?



1. federalist - November 28, 2007

Dr. Lyle Kurtz elaborates in a letter to the WSJ today:

Unfortunately, most Americans seem to think that their insurance company is in business to care for their daily medical needs. The fact is that the for-profit insurance companies exist as business entities to create profits for shareholders and prevent financial catastrophe to the insured. Patient premiums are the means by which such profits are generated, and any payments made for medical care that can be denied (e.g., a referral to a specialist or a drug like Celebrex) fail the insurer’s fiduciary duty to shareholders.

As I explain to my patients daily, their homeowner’s insurance doesn’t pay for the plumber to fix the clogged drain, and their car insurance doesn’t pay for a tune-up or gasoline. Those insurance policies are purchased to prevent financial catastrophe in the event that the house burns down or the car is destroyed in a wreck.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: