Thursday, August 27, 2009

Health Insurance.

I must admit to a degree of confusion over those people who argue against healthcare reform because it would likely end private health insurance. What I don't understand is how, in any stretch of the imagination, that would be bad.

Government run hospitals and clinics, yes, that would be bad, but not insurance. Competition as a benefit is associated with a two-party system. The seller and the buyer. Removing the middle-man between them makes no difference. Insurance works by spreading risk, which means the larger the pool, the better distributed the risk. In a sense, this is what Social Security is. As long as the pool remains a certain size, SS works well.

The loss of private insurance would be a good thing. I have yet to hear a cogent argument for private health insurance, and as a student of economics, I'd love to hear one. The best I've heard is that it's a persons choice to expose themselves to danger, in the same way it's a person's right to not wear a motorcycle helmet.

That's a fine argument, but I think that it entails the elimination of Medicare and Medicaid. And if you're against those, then your position is tenable, but such vast parts of the country heavily rely on those two organizations, that I doubt you'd ever get the bill pushed through.

And this is my own perspective on government, but I think government's ONLY goal is the stewardship of freedom. Any and all actions taken by the government must increase freedom. I pay taxes for the roadways. I lose the freedom to spend the money as I chose, but I gain the freedom of being able to drive damn-near anywhere. A net gain, I think.

I see health care similarly. I lose the ability to choose how to spend my money, but I gain the ability to not worry about my insurance running out or a debilitating injury inhibiting my ability to live. And for me, right now, I'm already spending $160 per month on insurance with a $3,000 deductible. If the government can guarantee that I won't be left for dead for $160 per month in taxes, that's a good deal.

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