Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mandatory Insurance Anyone?

There has been much clamoring about the government interfering in our personal lives, but little is said about how much insurance companies are interfering in our personal lives. It seems to me that big insurance interferes with our personal lives far more than big government does.

For some time now certain Astroturf groups have been screaming that it is unfair to force Americans to buy health insurance and even claiming that it is unconstitutional, but nothing is mentioned about other kinds of insurance that we are all forced to pay for in one way or another.

They make the argument that you are not forced to buy auto liability insurance if you choose not to own a car, but the public transportation agency you use must and it is factored into your fare. You may rent an apartment and not have to buy renter’s insurance, but insurance costs are part of your monthly rent. And just about any piece of equipment you buy has factored in the insurance costs that the manufacturer, distributer, and sellers all have to carry.

Then there are the professional liability insurance costs built into the fees charged by medical providers, lawyers, real estate and insurance agencies, financial services, and construction contractors of all kinds. Let’s not even get into the reasons for the rising cost of these various kinds of liability insurances…I’ll save that for anther time. But my point is that there are precious few Americans who are not subject to mandatory insurance of one kind or another.

So, why not make health care insurance mandatory? Why do many consider that one area taboo?  They paint the picture red, titled it “socialized,” insert images of Stalin and Mao, and then convince themselves that they are protecting the Constitution and the rights of Americans.

Now let’s put our thinking caps; what is the purpose of insurance? It is to spread potential risk over a large group of people in order that no one has to pay the whole cost in the event of any loss and all must contribute into the fund even if they never have to use it. Now, what are taxes for? Taxes are imposed so that the cost of government services are shared by all citizens even if they do not personally benefit from all services. And "social" refers to the redistributive policies of the government to benefit the public interest. So we have “socialized” police and fire protection; “socialized” road construction and repair; “socialized” water delivery, garbage removal and sewage treatment; and many other “socialized” services that few of us could afford to pay for a we use them.

So, whatever evil names and connotations you want to tack on to either, taxes and insurance are intended to spread costs over a large population for the benefit of all. The problem then is when tax rates or insurance premiums are out of proportion to the benefits offered or in getting too high for many Americans to afford. So why not take another look at mandatory health insurance? Let’s just make it affordable for all.

One more thing—many of these social medicine fear-mongers are seeking a public office at some level or another, but I would bet that a nice health insurance package will come with the job. In fact, there is one local candidate who told me that they are anxious to be elected so they can get the insurance that comes with the position so they could quit going to the Community Health Care Clinic.

Now, I wonder…where will the money for their health insurance come from? You Betcha…taxes! Do you think they will object to taxpayers footing the bill for their health insurance? Bets anyone?

Good for you…bad government.  Good for me…good government.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And now the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in.