Thursday, March 28, 2013

Insurance v. Assurance

The weak part of ObamaCare is the insurance mandate. The best way to defeat ObamaCare is to come up with an alternative to insurance.

If there was a compelling alternative to insurance on the market, the freedom movement could use it to strike directly at the mandates.

In this regards, I am thrilled to come across a site called 3H-A Health Assurance. This group seeks to develop health assurance as an alternative to health insurance. The site has the achievable of amending PPACA to ...

" ... legislatively amend Obamacare to allow for individuals to exempt themselves from Obamacare by participating in an Individual Health Assurance Account (IHAA)."

The big question for the freedom movement is if this change will be sufficient to strike a blow to Obamacare, or if the concept of "assurance" will be co-opted by the left and turned against the cause of individual liberty.

So, I've been reading web sites on the different between insurance and assurance. Most of the sites are related to Life Insurance. These sites say the same thing. ask wikiins says

"The specific uses of the term "insurance" and "assurance" are sometimes confused. In general, the term insurance refers to providing cover for an event that might happen while assurance is the provision of cover for an event that is certain to happen."

The term is used primarily in the life insurance industry. Death is certain. An accidental insurance policy is designed to pay off only if the death is an accident. With a life assurance policy, one is building up equity in the plan that will pay off regardless.

Of course, the problem in health care is that health expenses are irregular. The only health expense that one is guaranteed to occur is the funeral expense.

In health care, there are companies developing the term "assurance" as a brand. For example Health Assurance, LLC is using Health Assurance as brand for Managed Care. Their siite says:

"Health Assurance, LLC provides a comprehensive managed care program that encompasses primary medical care and dental care services, specialty medical services via a vast referral network, psychiatric and psychosocial services, assistance with impatient referrals, and a comprehensive accreditation program that meets national standards delivered in a cost-effective manner."

3H-Assurance hopes to develop the term along the lines of a Health Savings Account in which people retain control of their money and control the spending of their money. The FAQ at 3H ends with the line: "Health Assurance your money is yours to spend as you choose.  Say 'goodbye' to the hassles of managed care!"

I really like the direction that 3H is taking. It is one of the most positive things I've seen in the freedom movement for the last several years.

My experience is that the enemies of freedom are very good at manipulating terms. Hegelian dialectics is a game in which each term has contradictory meanings. The primary strategy of the Marxian dialectics is to use the tools of a free society to destroy the free society.

The reason that defending the free market is so hard is because adherents of the Hegelian/Marxian dialectic have destroyed our language.

3H is on the right track. I am thrilled to see another group realizing that the way to defend freedom is to develop an alternative to insurance.

For this (or any idea) to succeed, there needs to be a concerted effort to develop the idea in ways to prevent the term from being co-opted and turned into its opposite.

There must be a sufficient support structure to define and defend a free market interpretation of the term "assurance;" otherwise what will happen is the freedom movement will campaign for "Assurance" thinking it is like a Health Savings Account. At the last minute, a group like Health Assurance, LLC will muscle its way in to stuff another managed care plan down our gullet.

A great case in point is the Health Savings Account. Classical Liberals spent a great deal of time developing ideas about free market economics around this term. A politically connect insurance company called United Healthcare Group captured the term and use it as a marketing gimmick for their high deductible insurance policy. The HSA offered by United Healthcare Group is the worst possible implementation of the savings account idea. Companies give their lowest paid workers high deductible insurance and effectively eliminate their access to preventative medicine. All of the work spent developing the idea of a medical savings account was destroyed by insurance companies using Health Savings Accounts to sell high deductible insurance.

3H is on the right track. But, after researching the various usage of the term "assurance," I am skeptical that efforts to parse the terms "insurance" and "assurance" will result in a restoration of health freedom.

It is possible. To succeed in this effort, one would need to create a support structure to defend the definition of terms. This support structure would start by people physically meeting and holding conferences on free market health care reform.

Unfortunately, 3H-A does not include its location on the site.

I am stuck in Utah. For me the best places to hold a meeting are Utah, Las Vegas, Arizona, Colorado, or Idaho. The goal of a meeting is to create an alternative to insurance; so that in the 2014 election freedom advocates could be out on the street demanding a clearly defined mechanism to opt out of PPACA.

The two terms I've been using are "Medical Savings and Loan" and "Health Care Advocates Association™." I am not married to any term. I think HCAA would be a great name to use for organizing a meeting.

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