Republican Misunderstanding of Insurance

Listening to the arguments by conservatives about health insurance has convinced me that they simply don’t comprehend the nature of insurance. Let me repeat the definition I gave yesterday: Insurance companies run a legitimate business overcharging healthy people in order to make a profit and pay the medical expenses of unhealthy people. Can anyone point out a flaw in my thinking here?

And one of the most important implications is that the larger the pool of insured healthy people, the less the insurance companies will have to overcharge each one. Therefore, the most fair insurance plan is the one with the largest pool of insured healthy people. And that in turn means national health care is the most fair system we can create.

Republicans apparently don’t like that idea, however inescapably true it might be. They want each individual to have an insurance plan tailor-made for his or her individual situation, thus drastically reducing the pool and dramatically raising the cost of premiums.

To give an example: It is not fair, they say, that a male must pay for maternity costs. But if only women pay, it will cost them twice a much as it would if the other half of the population, the males, share the expense. Maybe some men, without excuse, don’t want to share the cost for maternity expenses because they are women’s responsibilities. Do we really want to live in a society in which men are so selfish and so blind to the obvious fact that they have made an essential contribution to the woman’s pregnancy? Do we want to help people be so selfish and ignorant?

Pregnancy costs the woman a great deal more than it does the man but, since we all benefit from the birth of babies, shouldn’t the men therefore at least shoulder more of the financial responsibility? And isn’t insurance with a very large pool of participants the most fair way to do that?

Please, someone, tell me where my logic goes astray here. Tell me the Republican division of the insurance pools into groups as small as possible makes sense.


About mthayes42

I am a retired pastor, interested in the Bible, cross-cultural ministries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the current and past history of western civilization.
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