“…In a reasonably sane world, and in all other contexts outside of health care, insurance is obtained at relatively low prices to cover only catastrophic events that would be potentially bankrupting. Car insurance does not cover oil changes and home insurance does not cover oven repairs. So why is it that Drum is arguing that we should ban insurance policies that only cover catastrophic losses and not routine costs? …
The problem is that when Drum and the Left use the word “health insurance” they are actually referring to a bundle of four items
- Traditional catastrophic insurance against large, unexpected, bankrupting charges
- Third party payment / capitation for entirely routine and expected health expenditures, from physicals to contraception
- Crony payoffs for favored constituencies, mainly via mandated benefits rules. This payoff may be to consumers, e.g. young women like Sandra Fluke who have the rest of us pay to maintain her sex life; or it may be to corporate cronies, who are able to get their particular device or procedure or service included in the mandated benefits, guaranteeing a large stream of customers who don’t care a bit what the product or service costs because it is now paid for by a third party.
- Social engineering, in the form of embedded incentives to promote certain favored behaviors like seeking preventative care or eating better. And when the government is paying the bill, the policy becomes a Trojon horse for government micro-management of our lives in the name of health cost reduction.
The second item seems to be a paradigm embedded in the mind of everyone in the US today, that health plans somehow need to cover every imaginable health-related expense. Outside of an HMO model where these expenses are managed, this is a recipe for a cost explosion. If we all had pre-paid car policies that bought our cars for us with low deductibles, no one would be driving a seven-year-old Nova. The third and fourth items are Trojan horses for state control and cronyism that politicians are desperate to preserve. So it is not surprising that efforts to roll back insurance to just be, well, insurance is met with anger by would-be authoritarians. The question is, why do we listen to them?”