07 March 2008

Actuarialize This

Something to think about as people ask you to trade your vote for free shit paid for by unnamed others:

So now it’s election season 2008, and the candidates are talking about the “health care crisis.” It’s a funny sort of crisis in one sense, because people are managing to survive to be older and healthier than they were before the crisis. But if a politician insists it’s a crisis, who are we to argue?

The idea of (Hillary's) mandate, though, is that if you include these low-risk people in the whole insurance pool, the premiums they pay can be added back to the pot for older people and people with serious illnesses, which makes the insurance more “affordable” — for them. It’s exactly the same situation as if we charge a 25-year-old the same amount for a year’s term life insurance as we charge his 75-year-old grandfather: it may make the insurance more affordable for Granddad, but it does so by overcharging young Elmo. Add in the “mandate,” so Elmo can’t opt out, and we have a universal care plan that forces Elmo to pay for services he doesn’t get so that Granddad can pay less for the services he gets. But it’s “voluntary” — you get to pick your insurance plan to some extent — and it’s not “tax-supported” because you are just paying the insurance company directly.

So in this mandated universal coverage plan, the government comes and makes me give someone money so it can be distributed to other people, and I don’t have any choice about participating. Where I come from, we call that a “tax.” Whatever it is, it ain’t insurance.

Read it all. It's a good lesson in the study of broken, diseased government and how delusional voters are reached.

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