It seems progressives have it ingrained that private healthcare insurance are not healthcare services or products that I’ve purchased. This is a lie. It is the essential lie that is wrecking the current debate on healthcare. From Tuesday’s comments here are to remarks to this assertion which I take as typical:
Actually you’ve ‘paid for’ a bet. You’ve betted that you will require certain expensive healthcare over the term of your policy. Your insurance company has bet that you will not. If it wins, they keep your premiums and make a profit. If you win, they pay for your healthcare.
As Boonton points out, you haven’t purchased healthcare per se, but healthcare coverage. And I’m not sure who “on the left” “forget” that.
Let me start with a little analogy.
Two men are neighbours. Their families both regularly have a Saturday evening barbecue at which sometimes they chat. One day they both start remarking on a very large boulder uphill of their properties. The way it is propped up it looks like it could hit one or the other of their houses. One of them suggests that every Saturday each one will put $20 a kitty. When (and if) erosion or other processes loosen the huge rock to crack into one of their houses … thy guy whose house is hit gets whatever was in the pot.
Imagine that rock was above a town … and the town agreed to a similar deal … and that contributions were fixed, contributors were voluntary, and that only contributors would be splitting the funds collected funds when the rock released. And that the funds getting large enough needed to hire an accountant to manage those funds … and that some rules needed to be established to apportion that sum in a equitable manner when rock caused damage to various houses in differing degrees. And voila … one has established an insurance company (not healthcare … but that is a distinction without difference).
This essentially the “bet” in the first quoted remark above or the “coverage” vs “product” in the second. What is the status of that money. When the person who’s house is struck has to pay for repairs … is that paid for with his money? It seems obvious that the answer to that is yes, he is paying with his money.
Healthcare coverage today is quite expensive. I don’t have the figures [note: I might ask at my employer for a rough estimate of what our companies healthcare costs per month run.] but I’m guessing offhand that $6k to $12k per year easily is being put to my healthcare insurance for my family of four. The first objection insists that this is a “bet” (which is an odd way to put actuarial calculations). Actuarial evolution is the means by which insurance companies make money. But the amount above the co-pay for medical services and medicines that are purchased on my families behalf is money from the “kitty” above. It is mine. It comes from my participation in the pool. The quantity that must be put in is related directly to mathematical statistical models of our population and our behaviour. Yet it is my money in exactly the same way that the money that money belonged the gentleman above with the damaged house. The movement from the two men to the town is pretty clear. When the money is spent is it still money belonging to and deriving directly from the people benefiting. That there is a “bet” involved is an unimportant detail. That this is “coverage” vs “payment” is a syntactic dodge.
Calling the health insurance that a person earns and receives as on of the means of remuneration for services rendered to an employer not a thing for which he has bought and paid is rhetorical thievery. The left will tell you today that these actuarial services are stealing from you. They will also deny that the private insurance company benefits are your money. And furthermore, that replacing these with greater government efficiencies will save incredible amounts. One wonders at the naivete at that sort of thinking. Greater. Government. Efficiencies. From what planet do these people originate? Medicare is a public healthcare program. There are private companies that exist solely for the purpose of navigating the arcane and Kafkan intricacies of Medicare paperwork on your behalf. Yep. More efficient indeed. Savings indeed. Mr Obama is indeed a great politician, that is if the term ‘great’ is a measure of the size and frequency of the the lies you tell.