Monday, April 12, 2004

Health Insurance Same As Car Insurance?

Over @ Medpundit is a post throwing out the idea of requiring individuals to buy their own health insurance, much like car insurance. While an interesting idea, and one I agree should be included in the growing debate concerning the future of our healthcare system, I can say there is one huge problem.

Many people, even if required by law to purchase health care insurance, will not purchase it. Period.

And for those living in states where a larger percentage of the population chooses not to purchase the required coverage will get stuck covering the bill. Anyone who lives in a state with high car insurance rates understands what I am talking about. Regardless of the reason (ie. higher illegal immigrant/per capita, low wages, etc) [Illegal immigrant? How about 'undocumented'? It's against the law, therefore ILLEGAL. I hate PC pandering. Call a spade a spade.] there will oftentimes be people who refuse to comply with these laws, only serving to increase costs for those who do comply.

Do I think there are problems with the current tie-in between employment and healthcare? Sure, but that's only because nothing is perfect. I think that we should seriously consider tax breaks to small businesses that offer healthcare coverage; we should support HSAs; and we should work to reduce frivolous lawsuits that 1) serve to drive up malpractice costs and 2) drive up hospital costs due to physicians ordering tests NOT NEEDED FOR DIAGNOSIS, simply so said physician is protected against a slimeball lawyer asking "why didn't you order this PET scan since you knew our patient had a headache?"

However, I do not agree that removing this incentive/benefit and forcing people to purchase their own insurance (I prefer using HSAs and Major Medical Coverage) will help since those who cannot afford insurance will continue to ride on the backs of those who can. In essence, the system will not be any different from what we have currently.