Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pre-existing Nonsense

Imagine that Bill Gate had a pre-existing condition that cost $50,000.

Being financially astute, Mr. Gates runs out and buys a $15,000 health policy for a year knowing that this will save him $35,000.

But, Bill Gates is a billionaire. He can afford is own care. His $35,000 windfall is the result of leeching off the system.

In the health care debate, people keep screaming about pre-existing conditions. But the problem isn't pre-existing conditions. The problem is that many people have health conditions that they cannot afford to treat.

If we were intellectually honest, we would recognize the problem for what it is. There are people who need help. Being a generous people, Americans want to find ways to help these people.

Unfortunately, trying to help people through intellectually dishonesty has a tendency of biting back. Laws that require insurance pools to accept clients to accept people with pre-existing conditions will create new avenues for people seeking to game the system.

For example, in the government run health exchanges, the players who've gained the system will be able to use pre-existing condition laws to offload policyholders with high claims experience onto outsider companies who are legally compelled to accept people with pre-existing conditions.

In the Community Organizing world, Cloward-and-Pivens advocated a strategy of advancing socialism by encouraging followers to overwhelm charitable organizations with appeals. Organizers seeking to gain influence can add the power of the new laws involving "pre-existing conditions" to further this strategy.

An intellectually honest system of health care reform starts with the realization that some people have insufficient resources to fund their care.

The first step in an intellectually honest approach to health care is to identify what is reasonable to expect people to pay for their care. The Medical Savings and Loan gives people the stated goal that those who can self-fund their care should self-fund their care, and then gives participants tools to track expenses and income.

The program will give policymakers information about what it is reasonable to ask people to pay for care.

Government reports indicate that the US spends from 17% to 19% of the GPD on healthcare. If this is so; then it is not unreasonable for individuals to spend 20% of their income on care. We might decide to start rendering assistance for people spending 25% of income on care.

The conversation about what is reasonable for a person to pay for care helps us decide what is unreasonable. Once a person is identified as having unreasonable health care expenses, we can then proceed to openly transfer resources to pay for the care.

The current health care debate is dominated by talking points like "pre-existing conditions." This dialogue is intellectually dishonest. The fact that a condition exists is not a problem. Bill Gates can pay for his own health care. The problem is that many people cannot.

By approaching the health care puzzle in an intellectually honest fashion, we are able to decide what is reasonable and unreasonable expenses and make problems to help those who face unreasonable expenses.

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