Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm a Gambler?

Did you know that there are 13.2 million uninsured young adults in America? This is a crisis. The government has to do something about this. How can anyone possibly live without health insurance? Hi, my name's Dan and I don't have health insurance. The thing is, I don't want health insurance.

Let's look at this logically. Life is risk vs. benefit. Life is a gamble. Health insurance is a business, not a charitable organization there to help. When you pay your health insurance bill they are running a risk vs benefits analysis of your situation. They are betting that you will not use your insurance enough to make it unprofitable for them and you are betting that you will. The insurance company is betting that you will not get sick and you are betting that you will. The only way to win is to get sick or have an accident.

This brings us to universal health care, or forcing everyone to buy health insurance. I heard an advocate say that the only way to get insurance prices down was to force young people to carry health insurance. They stated that currently only the old and the sick are buying insurance which drives the prices up. If young, healthy people also bought it that would bring the average price down. Well no kidding. Forcing people to buy a service that they won't use will bring the average price down? That sounds logical. The only problem is your FORCING PEOPLE TO BUY SOMETHING THEY WON'T USE. Am I the only one who sees a problem with this logic?



Francy said...

I'm not for government run health care AT ALL. But the problem comes when people who choose not to have health insurance have a life-threatening illness or accident and must have medical treatment to live. They are not denied medical care, so if they can not afford to pay (and most people can't pay for major medical treatment without insurance) then the taxpayers have to foot the bill. I think its irresponsible to not carry major medical insurance. It's like saying, "nothing will ever happen to me ever. But if it does, screw it the government can pay for me."

Francy said...

It's like how you are required to buy car insurance. Unisured drivers who got into accidents were a burden to the responsible insured drivers who were forced to foot their bills. It wasn't fair so laws were passed requiring everyone to be insured.

Also, if a catastrophic accident or illness happens to someone who is uninsured they will likely be financially ruined trying to pay off the bills.

DanThoms said...

God has not given me a spirit of fear.

It's a numbers game. I've had 28 years of perfect health. I don't live life saying what if. Also, the government doesn't foot your bill if your uninsured. The hospital takes a loss if you choose to file bankruptcy. Believe it or not, the hospitals are not operating at a loss so they can afford it when it happens on that rare occasion.

Francy said...

Some hospitals are designated for indigent care like University Hospital and they do receive government subsidies to pay for that indigent care. I didn't mean that the hospital sends the bill to the government and they pay it. You are definitely more fearless than me, Dan!

Helen Ann said...

I agree with NO UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. However Fran does have a point...No, the hospitals don't send the bill of an uninsured patient to the government, they just drive their prices up for the people who DO have insurance or who are rich enough to pay for it themselves...One Advil at the hospital costs something ridiculous. Just take a look at a hospital bill sometime. Denny once had an overnight stay in the hospital that cost $8,000. ONE NIGHT in the hospital. For stress. Needed like one test to make sure he wasn't having heart issues.

I'm not saying that's OK and that the solution is to buy health insurance if you don't want it, I'm just saying that there is a consequence to insured/wealthy people when an uninsured person finds themselves needing medical care. The hospitals do not do charity work in that regard.

DanThoms said...

Tell the hospital that you don't have insurance and suddenly they will decided you don't need as many tests and you don't need to stay as long. Hospitals take advantage of the insured.

Hospitals are more than happy to put you on a payment plan. In fact, they will often lower their prices for you if you tell them you are without insurance. My father has been known to have talked a doctor down. Now if they expect to charge $8,000 for a one night stay and they don't get paid right away (or at all), well, I don't exactly feel bad for them.

My brother works at a hospital so I know how much the chairs that they sit in cost. Hospitals are not lacking in money.

Not Too Old said...

Let me bring it to you from another angle. My stepfather is a doctor, and for a while he tried to keep a private practice in one of the poorest counties in Texas. Because most people were very poor and had no health insurance, he couldn't afford to continue his practice and went to work somewhere else. If we had some way of providing for health insurance for everyone, the small town doctors (who are not in it for the money) can afford to provide essential healthcare in areas where they are the most needed. Mandatory healthcare? I dunno. Government run healthcare? Maybe, it has its merits.

DanThoms said...

You bring up an interesting point and that is a special situation that sounds a bit tricky. Me in particular, I'm not poor and I don't go to the hospital so it works well. If I was poor and sick though, that would be another situation all together.

Rosa said...

I don't see what's wrong with universal health care. We should be taking care of the poorest among us. Many working poor work full time and still can't afford health insurance. Sorry if you need eye glasses or dental care. Sorry if your kid gets hit by a car. Got cancer? God will provide--or you could always get another job.

I'm an adult who lost my job (my insurance through work ate about 20% of my paycheck, taxes another 20%) and now I am living without insurance. It would have cost me around $1,000 month to get Cobra.

Pre-existing condition? You won't be approved anyway.

Look. We pay collectively for fire and police departments. We pay collectively for street lights and paved streets. Why not health insurance for everyone?

DanThoms said...

Here's the problem with universal health care. It doesn't work well in the countries that already have it. Also, it's not as big as a problem as a lot of people may think.

"Jack Hadley and John Holahan of the left-leaning Urban Institute, uncompensated care for the uninsured amounts to less than 3% of total healthcare spending"

Here's a quick article covering the issue.,0,2227144.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail