Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Health Insurance and Car Insurance

I heard an ad on the radio today.  The company advertising excapes me at the moment, but I'm pretty sure it was for a debt consolidation company and the seminar they are holding.

The gist of the commercial was how health insurance and car or house insurance are not the same.  They pointed out that we don't expect our car insurance company to pay for an oil change or to buy us new windshield wiper blades.  And we don't expect our house insurance to cover the cost of new furnace filters or the purchase of a new oven when ours breaks down.  So why does do we expect our health insurance to cover the cost of doctor visits for check ups?  I'm pretty sure I'm not fully remembering the exact analogy, but it was along these lines.

Which leads me to a nice article by Greg Knapp over at BigGovernment.com.  In the article, Greg points out that just because most states require car owners to buy car insurance, it doesn't follow that it is ok for the federal govenment to mandate everyone purchase health insurance because:
  1. Everybody doesn’t have to buy car insurance. You can choose not to drive and then you don’t need to buy the insurance.
  2. The only way to avoid mandatory health insurance will be to stop breathing. Our federal government has never required us to buy something just to exist in America.
  3. Driving is a privilege, Living and breathing is a right.
  4. You can choose liability coverage only for your car. Government will mandate what’s covered in your health insurance.
He proposes, instead, that if we want health insurance to be more like car insurance
then it’s time to allow health insurance to be sold across state lines, remove expensive mandates, give the same tax breaks to individuals that businesses get and decouple insurance from your place of employment.
These types of reforms are ones that I would support in the health care reform debate.

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