Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mandated Health Insurance, a Wise Bet?

All right, this is the third part of my series on the health care problem. But, the arguments put forth are not in terms of the costs of health care itself. They are arguments about the costs of health care insurance. These are two separate issues. And the main issue that should be the center of discussion is whether or not we want our government to mandate that “we the people” buy health insurance.

Is that what you, as an individual, want your government to mandate you to do? Do you want your government telling you that health insurance should be the highest of priorities in your life for your hard earned dollar? Because that will have to be your highest priority if government has its way and passes a bill mandating you to buy health insurance or suffer the consequences if you don’t.

That will have a higher priority on your budget than shelter, food, clothing, for yourself and your family if the government passes a bill that mandates you have health insurance. The government already mandates that you pay your taxes before you buy groceries for your family. Do you want another mandate that takes priority over the food you buy because that will be exactly what happens, especially if it is a single payer mandate?

And what would you be buying? The truthful answer is that you are buying nothing. Why do I say that? The reason I can say that is that the fact is that insurance companies are not selling you a commodity nor are they selling you a service. What you are actually doing, believe it or not, when you take out an insurance policy is making a bet.

Huh!!! You say, that paying insurance premiums is making a bet? Yes, that is exactly what you are doing. Every insurance company runs on the same principle as the gambling houses in Vegas, odds of probability of occurrence. This is true regardless of type of insurance whether it is property, life, accident or health insurance. And while Vegas would be honest enough to call the money you spend as bets, the insurance companies calls those bets premiums.

When you take out an insurance policy and pay your monthly premium (the amount you bet) you are betting that something will happen during that month. The insurance company is betting you that it won’t happen. This is true regardless of what you are insuring. I’ll give you one guess as to who will win that bet each month.

If it is a life insurance policy, you are betting that you will die during that month. The insurance company is betting that you will not die during that month. Granted, the insurance company knows that eventually you will win your bet but they are betting that the moneys you pay into them will be more than the moneys that they will pay out when you win your bet.

This is true of auto insurance. You are betting that you will have an auto accident during that month. The insurance company is betting that you won’t. While the likelihood is good that you will have an accident some time the insurance company is betting the same way as they are in life insurance.

The only difference being is the amount of payout. The amount of payout is an absolute figure in life insurance but is a relative figure in accident insurance. This is usually determined by how extensive any injuries will be suffered in the accident.

Health insurance is a bit different. Not only are you betting that you will suffer an illness during that month, you are betting that you will suffer an illness that is covered by your insurance policy. There isn’t a health insurance policy that would dare give you full coverage on every type of illness. If a person were to look at their policy and determine what illnesses were not covered, they’d end up with a list as long as your arm.

So, my friends, think again and think hard about the government mandate of you buying health insurance. Think again on whether it should be a priority over the food you buy or the shelter you pay for your family. This is what a government mandate will be dictating to you.

As some will say, these are but the words of a fool so I’ll once again leave you to the wisdom of your own thoughts on this issue.


SjP said...

she smiles and thinks she might agree with you, but then(you know the rest...)

The Griper said...

if i be a helping hand on this issue, it is a pleasure.

Donald Douglas said...

It's New Year's Day, Griper! Hope you're out having a good time!

The Griper said...

same to you professor. and thank you.

CJ said...

I don't know. If a network of hospitals, local programs, and federal programs will end up paying for poor people's care anyway, maybe it makes sense to admit that and have those people actually pay for insurance. Someone is already making that bet. It should be the person who benefits from the bet.

If we're going to deny people access to the emergency room for being poor (this does not happen yet), then I see your point. As long as we're paying anyway, there should be an actual insurance contract.


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