As President Obama gets ready to expand the reach of the government further into the lives of Americans than ever previously imagined, let’s stop and take a moment to reflect on some common sense.
The biggest problem with the debate over Obama’s policies is the duel realities enjoyed by each sparring side. See, without agreeing on the premise, the argument bifurcates into a logic bending maelstrom.
On the issue of health insurance, there are two sides, those who believe every human is entitled to the same health care regardless of means, and those who believe in personal responsibility and the private health insurance model. The two cannot mix.
We cannot simultaneously have “universal heath care” and a health insurance industry. When the administration says we can have it all they are disingenuously trying to appeal to both the “haves” and the “have-nots”, while reinforcing two realities and two premises.
Insurance is not charity, insurance is a closely calculated system of pricing risk while spreading actuarial costs across a voluntary consumer base. Universal Health Care, on the other hand, is charity.
When Obama says he wants to end “pre-screening” read; he wants to eliminate the assessing of risk, the most basic fundamental concept of insurance. Let’s call this what it is, the wholesale dismantling of health insurance as we know it, and the installation of health charity which can only be financed by deficit spending and taxation.
If you believe in Universal Health Charity, then I cannot argue with you. I can disagree, I can tell you no where in the Constitution does it mention a government mandate to provide a doctor for every American. And perhaps you don’t really care what the Constitution says, you see people suffering and believe no cost is too much to end that suffering. That’s fine. Agree to disagree.
If you believe, as Obama is trying to sell, there is a place in a free market for both health insurance and government run health charity, then you lack a basic understanding of market realities.
By eliminating the assessment of risk, the assigning of costs based on that risk, and by preventing insurers from determining pre-existing conditions, you transform insurance into charity. And if you allow one system that does just that, and leave intact another parallel system, you are left with an overall system in which one group of people are paying twice, once for their own health care and once again for everyone else in the other system.
If we projected this logic to the broader insurance industry as a whole, we would wind up with a situation in which you could literally wait for your house to burn down before signing up for the insurance that will pay for it. You could build your house in the fire prone hills of Malibu, or in the shadow of a levee in New Orleans, or up-against the lapping tide of the Atlantic Ocean, and pay the same amount to insure it as someone who has the wherewithal to build in a safe neighborhood. In this scenario the little pig who builds the brick house is a fool; we will need to re-write our fables.
I have done no formal studies, but based on the wide posteriors of those I come across on the street, and the diets of my co-workers, it is safe to say a large overwhelming proportion of health costs are derived from completely preventable sources. Just as I refuse to give a dollar to a junkie on the street, I should not be forced to underwrite the enabling of America.