All Insurance Should Be An Individual Decision

All Insurance Should Be An Individual Decision

Published: Sep 14, 2009 at 9:04 am

By Jim Jordan

Conditioning people to a specific mindset is a major accomplishment of any movement in this country. Those who advocate that health care is something that should be provided by someone else, not purchased by the consumer, seem to have had success in pushing their views. As an employer, to remain competitive in the marketplace, I must offer a health care package to my employees. This, like all things, comes at a price, but we continue even with such costs of doing business.

Lately, I’ve been hearing that affordable health care for everyone in America is a right. One woman at a town hall meeting said it was a “right under the UN” – the United Nations. One has to wonder where she would get such an idea. I cannot understand why, in the greatest capitalist country in the world, these people do not apply free market principles to health insurance.

Why is it that people have such grand expectations from health insurance when other types of insurance policies aren’t designed to cover everything, every time? When you need an oil change in your car, do you call your auto insurance company? When you get a flat tire, do you call your auto insurance company? Some companies like AAA offer such a service, but it is usually purchased outside of your main insurer. When your timing belt breaks on your car, do you call your insurance company? Again, there are companies out there that offer aftermarket mechanical warranties, but these are not features of auto insurance policies. Should insurance cost the same for a Ferrari and a Prius? This would be laughable.

People choose different homeowners policies, based on their own needs and comfort levels. Most people in Pennsylvania don’t have earthquake insurance, because we don’t have earthquakes. Be certain, though, that if an earthquake hit our area, many people would expect someone else to pick up the tab to rebuild their home because they did not get adequate coverage. I choose to have earthquake insurance but offset it with a high deductible, which is the market’s way of assuring affordability of coverage.

We must also take into account that people have different standards of living. Some live lifestyles that afford them great health throughout their lives. Others don’t place that much emphasis on healthy living – which, for the time being, is a right as an American. Health insurance policies and premiums should reflect these choices just like your home or auto policies.
Turning our health care into a single-payer system, hence making costs “equal” for everyone, is a fantasy that defies basic principles of economics, and it will end in failure. If you disagree, just try asking your insurance agent to cover your next oil change or flat tire, and get back to me.