I’ve come to the conclusion that INSURANCE is the root of most evil in our country today. In my view, INSURANCE and LAWYERS together are to blame for most of what’s wrong.
Think about how many insurance pools affect your life. At home you have your home owner’s liability policy, your fire insurance policy and your auto policies covering your liability and your casualty loss. If you have a mortgage, you probably have mortgage insurance. If you are prudent you may have life insurance.
At work you are covered by Worker’s Compensation through Department of Labor and Industries and Employment Security (Unemployment Insurance) both paid mostly by your employer.
Increasingly, Health Care Insurance has come to dominate our lives. Whether you pay for it individually or your employer pays for it, Health Care Insurance is becoming the most insidious form of insurance in our lives.
For a long time the discussion was focused on the “health care” part of the deal. The thought was that the cost of care was driven by health care providers. Then when we looked closer we saw that insurance companies were entrenched in the businesses of those providers it wasn’t about the quality of the care, it was only about what the insurance company would pay.
Who hasn’t heard about Mal-Practice and Business Liability insurance for the doctors, the clinics and the hospitals? It isn’t just the medical related businesses that are affected though; nearly every profession is impacted by Insurance policies.
The Lawyers compound the need for insurance because if someone fails to perform as they agreed in their insurance policy, an ambulance chaser, personal injury, mal-practice attorney will sue you and the insurance company for the failure. Threatened with the loss of your stuff, you toe the line.
Insurance companies have been changing our behavior for many years. Life insurance companies did it with smoking. Auto insurance companies did it with seat belts and motor cycle helmets.
If you engage in behavior they decide is “risky” your rates go up or your policy is cancelled. And that is the central issue of this whole piece.
I guess the other component is not canceling your policy but reducing your benefits; which is happening everywhere we look.
This week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested that sugared soft drinks larger than 16 ounces should be outlawed in New York City, citing the cost of health care paid by our health insurance carriers as the justification. Obese people who are covered get subsidized health care because they are not as healthy as skinnier folks. (Think about how far an idiot could extend that logic.)
The mayor focuses on how your personal bad choices affect insurance premiums paid by everyone. Last time it was trans fats in the cooking oil used by restaurants. Can you see how INSURANCE is becoming the dominant factor in our lives?
Insurance is the binding force that the government uses to change your behavior. By making coverage mandatory you increase the size of the money pool supposedly making the unit cost less while giving the insurance company the leverage over the service providers to reduce their reimbursement rate.
Certainly the Supreme Court’s pending decision on Obamacare will be the deciding factor in whether the government and the insurance companies can require that you buy their insurance and accept their prescribed level of care without competition in the market. It will also determine whether a doctor can set the price for his services or whether the insurance companies will have a strangle-hold on all the actual medical providers.
Don’t get me started about Medicare. We supposedly paid into a pool that should have compounded and grown into a huge fund that would pay for our medical costs when we retired. Unfortunately the government raided the fund and left it with a bunch of IOU’s so the actual cost of care today has to be paid out of current revenue.
Insurance companies will be the downfall of our society if the government requires that we all be covered for all perils.
Lawyers will be the enforcers since they will either sue you or threaten to sue you for whatever meager possessions the government allows you to have.
No doubt I would be in favor of “tort reform” limiting the dollar amount that could be awarded in a mal-practice or liability trial and providing that the plaintiff be held financially liable for the cost incurred by the defendant if the defendant is found to be not guilty.
Do I sound a little edgy? Good!