mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, March 07, 2008

We don't need no stinkin' health insurance...

Every now and again, I'll have plans to blog something, and then I read a really good article that says a lot of what I want to say. This PJ article on why health insurance isn't falls into that category.

A few weeks ago, a couple of my student coworkers were watching part of one of the Hillary/Obama debates where they were arguing about (to borrow one of Steven Green's Vodkapundit drunkblogs that I can't seem to find) whose health insurance plan was more mandatory. I commented that I didn't think that was a good idea, and that if people don't want to carry health insurance, they shouldn't have to. The students were appalled - why wouldn't anyone not want health insurance?

As the PJ article points out, health insurance isn't insurance. The point of insurance is to protect against unlikely but financially ruinous outcomes - your house burning down, you losing control of your car and accidentally taking out a busload of nuns who were bottle-feeding puppies (although given my driving, the latter is more common than you would suspect). Traditional health insurance does protect against those kinds of risks - cancer, heart attack, ect - but it also pays for routine treatment.

In order to legally drive in Maryland, I have to carry car insurance. But car insurance covers those big things - me hitting someone and causing serious injury or major property damage. It doesn't cover my gas, or oil changes, or flat tires, or other routine maintenance that I know is going to occur, or that is likely to occur at some point.

Health insurance is the same way. It's fairly predictable that you are going to get a cold or the flu or the like in the next few years, and it's stupid to insure against something you know is going to happen, since it's usually cheaper just to set the money aside to pay for it rather than pay the insurance company to pay for the thing you knew you would have to pay for.

I'm the kind of person who never goes to the doctor unless he's really sick. I haven't been to a doctor in probably 2 years or more, because I don't really get sick. My previous doctor retired, and I haven't found a new one. I probably should get a physical eventually, but it's not really a high priority for me. So I'm paying health insurance, but since I would only use the unlikely catastrophic care stuff, I'm pretty much throwing money away. Luckily, my employer pays for most of it, so I'm willing to do that - but if I were unemployed, or making far less than I do now, I would be pretty irked about the government requiring me to drop $1200 a year or more to insure me against something that is fairly unlikely.

I could probably live with the government encouraging real health insurance, just for catastrophic-care type stuff, although I'd prefer to see it done through tax breaks and the like, not blanket mandates. But making people buy insurance that isn't insurance, to cover expenses that they don't have, is ridiculous.


At 9:44 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This is so inspirational but you seem to have forgotten to mention the fact that you also have a bag full of talent too - congratulations on all you've made happen x. The issue with this is that many Home vacant insurancewill not guarantee a vacant home because there is a greater possibility that something could occur to it.


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