« on: August 19, 2009, 07:52:33 PM »
This is a huge topic and one that has seized the news.
1. First, is it a right or privilege or something else? Some believe a right - like trial by jury. Some believe a privilege that we must earn - like a gold watch. The problem is that it costs more than a gold watch and is more necessary to survival than a jury trial. Sub-questions galore - smokers, obese, poor, elderly, exercise, nutrition...
2. Why does it cost so much? For crying out loud, in this day and age computers keep improving and costing less. Why not an MRI? It seems competition does not affect health care very much.
3. So if it continues to cost more, does it improve lifetimes or quality? Honestly, I don't know.
4. Health Insurance continues to cost more. I presume because Health Care continues to cost more.
Insurance has been around for thousands of years (shipping) - usually to protect investments against disaster or theft. The idea being that the insurer made a profit by selling insurance to many people in return for accepting the risk of disaster or theft. It made a profit if few disasters and thefts occurred. The insured benefited because if disaster or theft occurred, it recouped its loses from the insurer. It worked because the insurer knew the risk of disaster or theft and could then calculate how much to charge the insured in return for accepting the risk.
The problem with health insurance is that everybody wants it, but nobody wants to lose money selling it. In other words, it does not work for the sick - those who need health care. It'd be like an insurance company selling insurance to somebody for $100 knowing that the person is about to be robbed of $10,000.00.
I can think of two solutions:
A. Universal Health Care
B. No medical history information to health insurance companies with prices by age and location alone. Contract length could be determined by the market. Also, health insurance companies must provide insurance for all ages with only Medicare for those over ~65.