ObamaCare And Wealth Redistribution: Who’s Kidding Whom?

THE REALITY OF RISK POOLS AND PREMIUMS

Let’s begin with a multiple choice question: If insurance companies are forced to offer health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, which of the following must occur?

1. People with pre-existing conditions pay higher premiums due to increased risk to the insurers.

2. People without pre-existing conditions pay higher premiums – subsidizing those with pre-existing conditions.

3. The government (taxpayers) subsidizes the premiums of people with pre-existing conditions.

4. Insurance companies bear the cost of the added risk.

Not sure? Let’s try the process of elimination:

Should an accident-prone driver pay the same premiums as does an accident-free driver – especially if being able to do so causes the safe driver’s premiums to increase? (Assume you’re the safe driver.) Should the taxpayers subsidize his accidents? If you were the insurance company, should you be forced to absorb losses because you’re forced to offer the same coverage for the same cost to accident-prone drivers?

Or, this: Should you pay higher premiums for a life insurance policy – because, built into your premium is the cost of your insurer selling life insurance to someone who is terminally ill? Should American taxpayers subsidize the life insurance premiums of terminally ill people? Were this to be a reality – every terminally ill person in the country would buy life insurance before they die, would they not?

If your answer is “Yes!” to these questions, I can’t help you – but thanks for stopping by. If, on the other hand, your answer is “Hell no!” then you obviously not only understand the concept of risk pools – you also understand that wealth redistribution is the cornerstone objective of ObamaCare – whether the ever-disingenuous O will admit it or not. (He won’t.)

Still not convinced? Let’s look at the first example above – at a personalized level:

Assume, if you will, that you and your (assumed) spouse have two model teenagers – with impeccable driving records. Also assume that the couple who lives next door has two teenagers as well – the difference being, these hooligans not only get speeding tickets on a regular basis, they throw in an accident every six months or so just to keep things interesting. As luck would have it, you are both insured by the same auto insurance company.

One day, you get a letter from the insurer that goes something like this: “As a result of the lousy driving record of your neighbors’ children, we regret to inform you that we must increase your premiums.” Would you be okay with that? I mean, c’mon – “We’re all in this together!” Besides, it’s only “fair.” Furthermore, if you refuse to pay the increased premiums – or if you resent having to pay for your neighbors’ risky drivers – you’re being selfish. You’re not willing to “give back.” Hell – you’re practically un-American.

The reality of insurance coverage of any kind is risk management – not only by the insurance company, but by policyholders as well. While insurers manage risk in part by creating multiple risk pools – grouping together people with similar risk exposure and charging premiums accordingly (or not offering coverage at all), policyholders have the ability to manage risk as well: people who don’t speed or drive recklessly, those who exercise and eat properly, homeowners who install burglar or fire alarms and take other steps to reduce potential liability. Should these responsible people be penalized – because others are not? Should they be forced to pay higher premiums because their neighbors don’t make the effort to reduce their risks?

If you’re among the holdouts who are still unconvinced by my argument (logic) and are thinking, “But Rat – what about the people with pre-existing conditions that aren’t they’re fault? You know – congenital defects, health issues caused by accidents or other sorts of unavoidable maladies?” Tough question.

While we must – as is the case with entitlement programs – take care of those who cannot take care of themselves, we should not be forced to subsidize those who refuse to take care of themselves. This, of course, is a slippery slope. In many instances, how can it be determined which pre-existing conditions are brought about by lifestyle choices vs. being “unavoidable”? Government review boards? Doctor certifications? No easy answers, but – what a bureaucratic mess.

My suspicion is that a majority of Americans would be willing to pay a bit more – though taxes – to subsidize coverage for those who could not and cannot avoid “pre-existing conditions.” But – for those who self-inflict those pre-existing conditions? Not so much.

Spoken like a true heartless conservative, right? Too bad – change your lifestyle – or check out the high-risk pools.

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Categories: Individual Mandate, ObamaCare, Planet Obama, Public Assistance, Welfare

Tags: , , , ,

8 replies

  1. I totally agree Rat. I am healthy as a horse and come from and equally healthy family. I have a 91 year old mother that takes no meds, is strong as an ox, feels great and I make sure she eats well. I can do that since she lives in my house. We are a long lived, healthy family and I do my best to ensure we take no stupid chances. We don’t smoke, drink very little, eat healthy and are careful. Why should I be forced to pay for insurance for someone that does not take the same precautions that we do?

  2. As a working RN I can assure you that there exists an ignorant portion of society even among healthcare workers who are kidding themselves in a quest to find a basis for rationalizing socialized medicine. The worse offenders in the healthcare debate are those who come from other Countries to make money in healthcare because in their respective countries they make no money . They go on about the injustice of the system while reaping the monetary benefit of their services. Repeatedly I hear the argument that the rich are obligated to higher tax in order to help those less off. However, if it’s posed to them that the Government should not make one obligated vs wanting to give, the response is,”they” ( wealthy) can afford it. O Bomb US, is leading the way for those who feel entitled to another’s hard working money.

  3. R.N.’s points are well taken. Even in health care professional community…stupid is as stupid does. But you know as far as other healthcare folks from other countries just in it to make money here they couldn’t make whereever? Locally a doctor, this one with U.S., D.O degree, 20 years practice being investigated…prescribing for person I know…200 Lortab 10 mg. with 2 refills a month …month after month after month for a year. Still going on. It’s reported to “government” , but when attitude is “just give grandma a pill’, what do you expect will be done.

    As far as self-infliced preconditions…saw it again today where I work day after day the last few years (only 2 days now after 47 years, sort of slacking off) 22 year old with MethMouth begging for narcotics. You googled the look of MethMouth lately? Common appearance for many youth this day and time. Not all thank God…that use to be in Dem Platform (only put back in word only, not really).

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