Saturday, August 25, 2012

Health Insurance is Not Like Any Other Insurance

At the age of forty-two, I have carried auto insurance for two and a half decades - and I have never made a claim.  That situation is the same for most Americans, and it pretty much holds true for their homeowners insurance and their life insurance and their personal items insurance ... and everything that is not health insurance.

That's the difference.

As a holder of a group insurance policy with my employer and a purchaserer of an individual private health care policy for my family, I am well-versed with the insurance industry.  And the health insurance industry has literally no connection or similarity to any other insurance business. And, that is why I simply cannot support the Republican Party on any discussion of health care reform. They like to believe that the government is the problem in health insurance, and if we simply treated it like auto insurance with people buying individual policies across state lines, the free market would fix the problems.

Not gonna happen, people.  Not at all.

In the most recent edition of Time Magazine, Edward Hudgins of the Ayn Rand Atlas society is quoted in an article about Paul Ryan as saying, "He's been explicit that he wants to save Medicare .... we'd like to see the private sector handle this the way it handles auto insurance."  Clearly, Ed Hudgins - and probably Paul Ryan - is so disconnected from reality that he should be making no policy decisions about health care.  Medicare cannot be handled by the private sector because seniors are simply not profitable.  They are quite expensive - which is why Medicare was necessary in the first place.

Now, whether we should expect seniors - and all Americans - to be a little more health conscious to avoid the ever-increasing Medicare costs is a good question.  But expecting the private sector to handle Medicare the way it handles auto insurance is incredibly naive - and actually quite dangerously stupid.


Unknown said...

I think everyone should be more conscious with their health, whether to avoid the increasing Medicare costs or just to go with the flow of it. Prevention is better than cure, and taking care of our health is all a matter of making the right decisions and sticking with them all throughout. And yes, auto and health insurance are of different means and ways.

Elnora Cowger

mmazenko said...

Thanks, Elnora. We could certainly save a great deal if people took better care of themselves. Can you imagine the positive impact on American health if people simply cut out sodas and walked 30 minutes three times a week. Revolutionary.