Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jeff Goldstein Wakes From Coma

Then writes the definitive piece on the SCHIP situation:
Well, perhaps not nationally. But here, in the comments, it’s come up quite a bit, despite the inability of certain visiting SCHIP-expansion shills to either locate these arguments or respond to them substantively. Which, I realize, is asking a lot from those whose only rebuttal thus far has been is to accuse critics who find fault with the Democrats’ using a 12-year-old mouthpiece already covered under SCHIP to push for the program’s dramatic expansion (in what its critics believe is a dishonest emotional appeal designed to create a bridge toward national healthcare by incorporating the middle class) of being “hateful” smear merchants, “stalkers,” and “child abusers.”

That is exactly right. The left is being willfully dishonest about this debate. They know that they were disingenuous when using the Frost family as an emotional bludgeon. Graeme was already covered! They did it to avoid having to defend expanding a system wherein a sizable chunk of the money is already being wasted on adults and people that can afford insurance.

The sad thing is, if they were willing to actually agree to a bill that spent money on health care for poor children and only poor children they would get it passed in a minute. Too bad they have to demagogue the issue.

Jeff also echoes my preferred solution to rising health care costs (bias alert: I work in the non-health insurance industry):
Instead, I’d prefer we started treating insurance as insurance — to cover the catastrophic — and use the huge drop in premiums such a restructuring would effect to allow people to budget for their own out of pocket health care needs.

This approach begins to reteach the need for personal accountability, which progressives despise, given that, in the long term, such instigation is a remedy for the encroachment of the nanny state they so clearly desire.

How we’d deal with the irresponsible in the meantime — so that, say, children don’t go without routine checkups or flu shots, etc., so that Mommy and Daddy can add the GPS system and the sunroof to the Volvo — would then become a legitimate question of policy, and one that I’d be more than happy to hash out.

Before I started working in the insurance industry, I admit I had a very fuzzy understanding of the process. The problem is that our current health insurance system is only nominally insurance at all. The fact that known, reliable monthly expenditures are included in what insurance covers, by definition, makes it not insurance. Insurance is a risk balancing industry that attempts to rate unknown risks and aid a person in levelling out the cost of unexpected catastrophic expense. It is not intended to be used like a discount card at the local pharmacy, which is how most people use it.

Ask an average insurance consumer if they think they should be paying at least as much for their insurance as they use and they'll say, "why would I want it then?" The expectation of covered medication is far more like socialism than insurance. It would be like expecting your auto insurance to pay for oil changes and gasoline.

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