March 25, 2009

Liberty and Equal Insurance for All


Do you think you should pay the same amount of insurance on your land-locked home as someone who lives on the Ocean? With the much riskier premise of floods for the home with the more scenic view, this would be ridiculous, right?

And yet, intrinsically, we don't like the idea of having someone with a riskier premise for sickness having to pay more for health insurance than us?

Is it because that for many of these conditions, the party has no control over them?

By the way, just to throw another wrench in the argument, the Fed DOES subsidize flood insurance for coastal owners.

15 comments:

Brent said...

> Do you think you should pay the same amount of insurance on your land-locked home as someone who lives on the Ocean? With the much riskier premise of floods for the home with the more scenic view, this would be ridiculous, right?

The people of Florida haven't figured that out...

Sabai said...

well, partially, that's because they've been able to avoid true market risk because of the federal subsidization of the flood insurance.

on a much bigger second note, CONGRATS TO YOU AND NIKKI FOR YOUR NEW DAUGHTER!!!

Brent said...

> Is it because that for many of these conditions, the party has no control over them?

I think most people simply don't understand insurance.

Marc said...

I was watching fox news on the messdeck (cafeteria) when I saw that. My comment was "isn't that just good business?"

The other guys looked at me like I was from another planet.

Sabai said...

just so we're clear marc, what specifically did you think was good business?

Marc said...

Charging "riskier" people more money for their health insurance.

Let's say that you eat badly, drink often, and have smoked since you were 4.

If the insurance companies suddenly decide that they're not going to consider which one of us is more likely to need healthcare, your premiums will go way down and mine will go way up.

And all of a sudden, the healthy are subsidizing healthcare for the unhealthy.

Callous, I know, but when you're dealing with a volume of people that can only be understood statistically, the current insurance cost/risk-management systems start to make sense.

Sabai said...

but that's exactly what's happening. because the VAST majority of people get their insurance through their workplace, and the healthy at that workplace are subsidizing the healthcare for the non-healthy.

when i worked at a company with less than 20 people, i remember we hired a new woman, and our premiums significantly increased the next month.

i always wondered what she could possibly have had.

The Great I'm Not said...

i think people's arguments are that if these health insurance companies weren't trying to make huge profits then premiums would be lower. its also important to note health insurance premiums are killing the sole proprietor.

isn't there a piece of legislation in the works that would require everyone in american to be insured, as long as the insurance companies played ball and lowered premiums?

Sabai said...

yes, hillary clinton ran on that promise. barack's is similar but the insurance would not be mandatory.

Becky Johnson said...

So, I just recently had an interesting patient. He owns his own business, therefore self-employed and insurance is super expensive for self-employed. So, he doesn't have insurance. He figures that if he just saves the money he would spend on monthly premiums, he can cover any medical expenses. He just saved up and is paying for his total hip replacement. So far the risk has been worth it for him, but there is a great risk in doing that. Incidently, he thinks the government should mandate minimal insurance coverage at a reasonable rate for everyone.

Bobby Teenager said...

Thats a pretty risky idea, I am curious how much he will end up paying for his surgery and rehab. People worry about the gov being a "big brother" if they controlled health insurance. But think about how much insurance is what holds peopple down and ties them to a 9-5 job vs taking a risk with an entrepreneurial idea and self-employment. I know no matter what the gov did to subssidize healthcare, it would be enormously inefficient, bloated, and expensive, but would it add up to the ridulous profits all the health insurance companies in this country make?

Sabai said...

we're acting like those are the only two options. imagine the efficiencies of competition that would stem from every person/family bidding for a plan themselves (like they do for every other kind of insurance).

Bobby Teenager said...

But the insurance compaines would just choose not to insure many of the applicants the same way they currently do for peopel trying to to get individual insurance. Or they would charg them so much they might as well not insure them. And I dont think this practice would change if group covereage was eliminated and everyone was on their own. The margins are way higher for individual plans. If you have any kind of pre-existing condition, which to them means you have ever been to the doctor for anything, they most likely wont cover you. So with all those people not getting insurance you have many more turning to government aid (if they can get it) and everyone pays for it through their tax dollars anyway. It also brings up whether healthcare should be a right for everyone like a public education, 911, police and fire department, highways, city sanitaion, the armed forces. We all pay for all these things regardless of "how much we use them."

Sabai said...

you're right, but let's look at it this way. what can we do to actually LOWER the costs of healthcare. price transparency and individualized competition, right? If everyone had to get their own plans (and worked to get good-value ones) and the government still paid for them all, we'd be WAY ahead of where we are now. Now, that won't work, because you would just buy the craziest plan ever, but we need to make sure whatever solution we come up with actually lowers the costs of healthcare.

Sabai said...

we actually talked about that before.

http://sabaisays.blogspot.com/2008/11/universal-health-care-part-two.html