Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hillary's Democracy

I never fail to be amazed by Democrats' seemingly instinctive authoritarianism. I described in an earlier post John Edwards' apparent belief that as President he would have the authority to cancel the health insurance coverage of members of Congress and his Cabinet. It is possible that Dem's never waning assertion that Republicans favor an "Imperial" presidency is merely another case of projection.

In promoting her Universal Health Care Plan recently Hillary informed us that she would consider garnishing the wages of those who refuse to purchase health insurance in order to ensure the universality of the plan.

So here we have a proposal supposedly initiated to "help" the less fortunate. If they have the audacity to refuse to accept and pay for the "help" they will be forced to participate against their will. Oh, wait, she would only garnish the wages of those who could "afford" to pay for the coverage. Great, thanks Hill. So, you 18 million 18 - 30's who see that paying health insurance premiums is a waste of money for you, we're going to "help" you. Reminds me of Reagan's 10 words you never want to hear: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you".

Of course she also wants to confiscate some or all of the profits of those nasty oil companies. You know, the ones who have vast investment programs to find and drill more of the stuff so we can keep driving. Its odd, but I don't remember any dems offering to give money to the oil companies when they were struggling and oil was $10 barrel.

She wants to prohibit medical insurance companies from screening for pre-existing conditions and she claimed last week in a speech at a GM Plant in Lordstown, OH that the companies spend $50 billion a year "trying to figure out how not to cover people".

She went on to say that, "I'm going to save them a fortune and a whole lot of time, because here's the new policy: No more discrimination period. So even if you have a pre-existing condition you can get the health insurance you need no questions asked".

Now there's an example of the rhetoric and mind set of a truly democratic person. Beyond the appalling spectre of authoritarianism raised by such dictats is the much worse and much more practical result of such stupidity.

If you are buying your insurance from an insurer that doesn't accept subscribers with pre-existing conditions (group insurance policy issuers have long since stopped screening for pre-existing conditions) and that company is now forced to accept them, your premium will simply be raised to pay for the inevitable rise in claims the company will have to pay. That is how insurance works. The risk is spread among the policy holders. More risk = more expense = higher premiums for all policy holders. So, what Hillary is telling all you individual policy holders is that you are about to be forced to subsidize your neighbors.

Not surprisingly, she didn't give any support or meaningful explanation for that $50 billion statement. Let's assume the figure, wherever it came from is accurate. What does it mean? It means that the combined budgets of insurance companies' claims departments is $50 billion a year.

Every claim has to be evaluated and some will be turned down. So what she could just as easily have said, although it probably wouldn't enter her mind to do so since the evil insurance companies must be vilified, is insurance companies spend $50 billion a year processing claims.

She leaves the impression, purposely, I'm sure, that the companies are spending $50 billion a year to ferret out claims for pre-existing conditions, nonsense obviously. To get an idea of just how preposterous this notion is consider that it would cost less than 50 billion annually to pay $100,000 in claims for 499,000 people. Most people accumulate less than $100,000 for medical care in a lifetime, never mind a year.