"And a lot of this, it sounds so good, and it's such a warm message to say we're not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition. Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle that you can just come along with whatever condition you have and we're gonna cover you at the same cost we're covering everybody else 'cause we wanna be fair. Okay, fine. Then let's do that with our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, 'I'd like to buy some insurance for my house.' He'd say, 'Tell me about your house.' 'Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I'd like to insure it today.' And he'll say 'I'm sorry, but we can't insure it after it's already burned.' Well, no preexisting conditions.
"How would you like to be able to call your insurance agent for your car and say 'I want you to insure my car.' 'Well tell me about your car.' 'Well it was a pretty nice vehicle until my sixteen year-old boy wrecked it yesterday. [He] totaled the thing out but I'd like to get it insurance so we can get it replaced.' Now how much would a policy cost if it covered everything? About as much as it's gonna cost for health care in this country."
Actually, these analogies prove the case FOR health care reform. In the first place, this is exactly the reason the health reform bill contains the unpopular “individual mandate,” which requires every American to buy health insurance: if people are allowed to wait until after they get sick to buy insurance, of course everyone will do so, and the insurance industry will collapse. In other words, the health care reform bill already solves exactly the problem that Huckabee brings up.
But more fundamentally, Huckabee’s examples show why private insurance is not necessarily the best way to pay for health care in the first place. Just like home insurances companies don’t want to insure hurricane-prone houses in Florida because they are likely money losers, health insurance companies don’t like to insure people who are likely to need health care—because the insurer will have to pay for it. And do you really want to trust your health care to someone who has a profit motive to not give it to you?
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WSJ inadvertently supports case for health care reform: do you want to trust your health to profit and loss?
The Catch-22 for Opponents of Health Care Reform
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