My 2cents on Health Insurance
My primary frustration with medical insurance at the moment – because this is really an insurance argument and not a “health care” argument at all – is that it’s run like car insurance. when it is nothing like car insurance.
If someone wrecks their car you can say “okay, pay us more because you made a mistake” and if they do it again you can say “you cannot drive now because you are uninsurable”.
If someone gets sick enough to really need their insurance, the probability is high that they are in the class of people unable to pay more*. And if they do it again, do you really get to say “you cannot live because you are uninsurable“?
Add to that the fact that the free market (and I am a HUGE cheerleader for the free market) does not really apply to health insurance. Free markets rely upon two major things; choice and information. I do not really have choice with regard to my insurance. If I don’t take what my employer chooses to offer I am an idiot – because going it alone is irrational from a fiscal perspective.
By the same token, I have no idea what my employer is actually paying for my insurance because they pay a large chunk of it behind the scenes without my knowledge, and my own payments to the plan are tax-free, further serving to hide the “real cost”. Articles I have read suggest that my health insurance through my company is actually costing me more than it would to strike out on my own.
If all of this sounds like I’m angry at both sides of the aisle right now, good. Because I am. But something needs to be done, and I’d prefer sooner to later, in case one of us gets sick.
* And while preventative measures such as “clean living” and “healthy habits” are great and all, you really only get one perfect chance at this and we’re all going to get it wrong. Seriously – tell me you’re perfect and let me complain about why I don’t want you in my insurance company because you like to eat ice cream once a week.