POLLIWOG (Tadpole): the early stage of an animal that will eventually become a frog, hoping to be kissed by a princess, turning into a prince! POLIBLOG (Political Blog): the early stage of a center-right political blog that may eventually become a full blown blog of the center-right. Join in if you find any merit in the comments. If you are on the left and disagree, feel free to straighten me out! Who knows, with effort from all of us this blog may turn into a prince!

Location: San Diego, California, United States

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hillary Care II: John Stossel explains the problem

In "Our Crazy Health-Insurance System" Mr. Stossel shares some basic truths about health insurance. Here is the heart of the argument, but do read the whole thing:

"Steering people to buy lots of health insurance is bad policy. Insurance is a necessary evil. We need it to protect us from the big risks - things most of us can't afford to pay for, like a serious illness, a major car accident or a house fire."

and, closing:

"So there is a lot of waste in insurance - lost money and time.

Imagine if your car insurance covered oil changes and gasoline. You wouldn't care how much gas you used, and you wouldn't care what it cost. Mechanics would sell you $100 oil changes. Prices would skyrocket.

That's how it works in health care. Patients don't ask how much a test or treatment will cost. They ask if their insurance covers it. They don't compare prices from different doctors and hospitals. (Prices do vary.) Why should they? They're not paying. (although they do in hidden, indirect ways.)

In the end, we all pay more because no one seems to pay anything. It's why health insurance is not a good idea for anything but serious illnesses and accidents that could bankrupt you. For the rest, we should pay out of our savings."

Think this through and realize that the politicians, mostly on the left, are simply pandering to the population with a freebie, which is anything but, if you realize the path it sets for our country!



Blogger Curt said...

I have to say that I am in agreement with you and Stossel on this issue at this point. There should be good catastrophic insurance available, not today's 'full-coverage' insurance. Theoretically at least this would increase base wages, since the employer would not be covering all these costs buried in payroll.

Even if there were full agreement on this issue, it's a good question what it would take to actually change today's system; inertia is such a powerful force!

5:52 AM  
Blogger Curt said...

Here's a related post from Arnold Kling on what he sees as the political realities of the situation.

Econ Log post

10:28 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Interesting. He sounds like mandatory health coverage is inevitable due to the industry not being willing to give up government/insurance payments for the unnecessary services people use because its "free". Much of these services would stop with high deductible.

It is always difficult to get the pigs from the trough - in this case the pigs consuming unnecessary services and the pigs benefiting from this income - but I think we must work to find a solution and wean people off the teat of low or no deductible health insurance, both government and business supplied. I still believe it can be done with proper marketing and a halt to the pandering (is this possible???).

What was his comment about MA mandatory health coverage? Sound like Romney's program is not such a good one. I know nothing about it, but have heard it is a reasonable approach.

11:31 AM  

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