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creekdipper 09-17-09 08:47 AM

Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 
I keep hearing commentators, when discussing mandatory purchase of health insurance as part of a health reform plan, use the analogy of some states requiring drivers to purchase car insurance. Heard it again this morning on Washington Journal from David Drucker of Roll Call.

I have two questions regarding the pertinence of this analogy:

(1) Are all citizens required to have proof of car insurance or just those who plan to drive a car?

(2) Is the mandated car insurance comprehensive coverage, or are drivers just required to carry liability insurance to cover damages to other property or individuals?

Venusian 09-17-09 08:53 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 
Not saying I agree with it, but the analogy would say

Are all citizens required to have proof of health insurance or just those who plan to interact with others?

Basically, if you get sick and don't have insurance and don't get better, you can spread your illness to others.

For the 2nd point, I don't think there is any talk of minimum coverage but I could be wrong. If you got a 10k deductible cheap plan, it'd probably work.

orangecrush 09-17-09 09:38 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by creekdipper (Post 9714342)
I keep hearing commentators, when discussing mandatory purchase of health insurance as part of a health reform plan, use the analogy of some states requiring drivers to purchase car insurance. Heard it again this morning on Washington Journal from David Drucker of Roll Call.

I have two questions regarding the pertinence of this analogy:

(1) Are all citizens required to have proof of car insurance or just those who plan to drive a car?

(2) Is the mandated car insurance comprehensive coverage, or are drivers just required to carry liability insurance to cover damages to other property or individuals?

1) You don't have to have proof of insurance, just proof of financial responsibility. You can post a bond in most states in lieu of insurance.

2) Only liability coverage is mandated in most states. Some states require PIP or other first party benefits (I know that Penn and MI both require other forms of first party benefits other than PIP). I donít know of any state that requires physical damage coverage.

In my opinion comparing health insurance to property/casualty insurance is a terrible analogy. With the later, you are insuring against easily quantifiable economic risks. With the former, you are insuring against a risk that is not primarily economic and much harder to quantify (though many actuaries are paid very well to do so).

creekdipper 09-17-09 09:42 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by Venusian (Post 9714349)
Not saying I agree with it, but the analogy would say

Are all citizens required to have proof of health insurance or just those who plan to interact with others?

Basically, if you get sick and don't have insurance and don't get better, you can spread your illness to others.

For the 2nd point, I don't think there is any talk of minimum coverage but I could be wrong. If you got a 10k deductible cheap plan, it'd probably work.

So the government's basic position would be: You're not an asset, you're a potential Typhoid Mary.

Interesting point. Of course, if I have a broken leg, I doubt I'd be much of a threat to anyone unless I lost my balance & fell on them.

Regarding orangecrush's answer #1 (thanks for the responses, btw), I'm going to offer proof of responsibility in lieu of mandated health insurance. That will ensure that I can pay damages in case anyone sues me because I gave them a cold.

I visited someone in the hospital who just had part of his colon removed. Now I'm starting to wonder if I might come down with the same thing.

I agree that the analogy is kinda lame...just wanted to see what others thought (and get more info. about the car insurance requirements).

creekdipper 09-17-09 09:53 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by Venusian (Post 9714349)
Not saying I agree with it, but the analogy would say

Are all citizens required to have proof of health insurance or just those who plan to interact with others?

Basically, if you get sick and don't have insurance and don't get better, you can spread your illness to others.

For the 2nd point, I don't think there is any talk of minimum coverage but I could be wrong. If you got a 10k deductible cheap plan, it'd probably work.

Interesting 2nd point. Would the mandated coverage only be for a 'basic' plan with the option of adding more coverage (cancer treatments, disability, extended hospital stays, etc.)? Surely there's no way that any system can provide the maximum treatment for every citizen regardless of ability to pay (any more than charter schools or a voucher system can provide for every disadvantaged student). That's like saying that all nursing homes offer the same level of care, or home nursing would be available to all. The haves will always be able to buy a level of heath care that the have-nots cannot afford unless the government truly takes over the entire system & rations care.

Part of the discussion I've heard is saying that, in any mandated plan, a person wjp couldn't afford to pay the premium would have the tab picked up by THE GOVERNMENT. Which is a nice way of saying that other taxpayers would foot the bill. Of course, others pick up the bill now for ER treatments (whether in taxes, increased medical bills, increased insurance premiums, etc)., so it's not like a new thing.

X 09-17-09 10:02 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 
An analogy that should work about car insurance and health insurance is that you buy car insurance before you have an accident. That's what insurance is.

Many people that I hear are begging for nationalized health "insurance" to pay for existing conditions, not as insurance in case something goes wrong in the future.

orangecrush 09-17-09 10:07 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by X (Post 9714478)
An analogy that should work about car insurance and health insurance is that you buy car insurance before you have an accident. That's what insurance is.

Many people that I hear are begging for nationalized health "insurance" to pay for existing conditions, not as insurance in case something goes wrong in the future.

To be fair, you could make the same argument when you change insurance companies with a job change. You wouldn't be super cool with disallowing pre-existing conditions even when you have continuous coverage.

X 09-17-09 10:12 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by orangecrush (Post 9714485)
To be fair, you could make the same argument when you change insurance companies with a job change. You wouldn't be super cool with disallowing pre-existing conditions even when you have continuous coverage.

If you already had coverage, even when changing jobs, and then you needed medical care it's a different thing then if you're just getting it after the fact so that others can pay for you.

But don't get me started on getting insurance from your job.

SunMonkey 09-17-09 10:16 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 
No one is required to have auto insurance. They choose to have it if they want to drive.

orangecrush 09-17-09 11:37 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by X (Post 9714498)
If you already had coverage, even when changing jobs, and then you needed medical care it's a different thing then if you're just getting it after the fact so that others can pay for you.

But don't get me started on getting insurance from your job.

I agree that it is different in one sense. However, from the standpoint of the new insurer, you are not buying insurance for something that may happen. You are buying it for something that is happening. The fact that you have continuous coverage doesn't change the underlying issue of buying coverage for a certain event.

Also, there is no good reason why insurance should be tied to employment. None at all.

creekdipper 09-21-09 09:02 PM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by SunMonkey (Post 9714506)
No one is required to have auto insurance. They choose to have it if they want to drive.

As soon as a toddler is able to navigate a trike, he/she should be required to show proof of insurance.

BTW, the President used the car insurance analogy yesterday on the morning talk shows when discussing mandated health coverage.

He's winning me over on this issue. Only those who choose to breathe are going to be required to buy heath insurance.

The government will collect taxes from the non-breathing citizens through inheritance/estate taxes, so the new mandates are fair to every citizen--living or deceased.

What could be fairer!

BKenn01 09-21-09 10:20 PM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 
Personally, I think if you are going to require insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions you have to require everyone to purchase insurance. And the penalty should not be cheap. You shouldnt be able to coast without insurance then pick it up when you have a problem.

orangecrush 09-22-09 10:06 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by BKenn01 (Post 9723282)
Personally, I think if you are going to require insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions you have to require everyone to purchase insurance. And the penalty should not be cheap. You shouldnt be able to coast without insurance then pick it up when you have a problem.

I don't think any reasonable person would disagree with this.

Th0r S1mpson 09-22-09 10:39 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 
I've been trying to figure out how the preexisting condition thing fits into the equation.

It seems unreasonable for "insurance" companies to have to pick people up at a relatively low rate when large expenses are already a foregone conclusion. Kind of like insuring a car for a Demolition Derby. I don't know how a business could function that way without jacking up everyone's rates substantially, which is not the goal of any present bill.

Requiring insurance (which would be bought from those same companies) would certainly help with this. I hadn't put that into the equation and it's an important part of the puzzle.

Is another part of the high cost of the bill that companies taking on customers with pre-existing conditions will also be subsidized, or is it estimated that the number of people seeking care with preexisting conditions will be offset entirely by the uninsured who become insured?

If they are cutting Medicare by a half billion (I think I read this somewhere?) then are private insurers, under the Baucus plan, expected to cover that?

X 09-22-09 11:20 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by Thor Simpson (Post 9723913)
I've been trying to figure out how the preexisting condition thing fits into the equation.

If it's truly insurance, it doesn't.

But people aren't looking for insurance, they're looking for health care. It's just called "insurance" to make it sound less expensive to everyone as a whole and more acceptable to the young suckers who will bearing the burden of the cost since they generally won't need much health care for many years.

Th0r S1mpson 09-22-09 12:01 PM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 
Right. So is another part of the high cost of the bill that companies taking on customers with pre-existing conditions will also be subsidized, or is it estimated that the number of people seeking care with preexisting conditions will be offset entirely by the uninsured who now will be paying for plans?

If they are cutting Medicare by a half billion (I think I read this somewhere?) then are private insurers, under the Baucus plan, expected to cover that?

sracer 09-22-09 12:22 PM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by creekdipper (Post 9714342)
I keep hearing commentators, when discussing mandatory purchase of health insurance as part of a health reform plan, use the analogy of some states requiring drivers to purchase car insurance. Heard it again this morning on Washington Journal from David Drucker of Roll Call.

I have two questions regarding the pertinence of this analogy:

(1) Are all citizens required to have proof of car insurance or just those who plan to drive a car?

Only those who have a car need to have car insurance. The point for healthcare is the same... only those who have health need to have healthcare insurance. (dead people won't be required to have healthcare insurance) What's YOUR point?


Originally Posted by creekdipper (Post 9714342)
(2) Is the mandated car insurance comprehensive coverage, or are drivers just required to carry liability insurance to cover damages to other property or individuals?

If you have a car loan, you will be required to have comprehensive... not just liability. That's because the lien holder wants to ensure that their investment is protected. Similar thing with healthcare. The government is ultimately on the hook to provide coverage for the uninsured... so they want to require healthcare insurance to help ensure that the government isn't going to foot the entire bill.

If healthcare providers could turn away those unable to pay then it makes sense to make healthcare insurance optional.

Sdallnct 09-27-09 11:11 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 
I think it is a dangerous comparison. I would LOVE that health insurance were like auto.

Auto insurance is generally highly profitable. Because of this it is very competitive. Many, MANY companies battle for your business. There are many different packages offered by many different companies at many different price points.

I would agree this is what we need.

creekdipper 09-28-09 06:08 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by sracer (Post 9724159)
Only those who have a car need to have car insurance. The point for healthcare is the same... only those who have health need to have healthcare insurance. (dead people won't be required to have healthcare insurance) What's YOUR point?


If you have a car loan, you will be required to have comprehensive... not just liability. That's because the lien holder wants to ensure that their investment is protected. Similar thing with healthcare. The government is ultimately on the hook to provide coverage for the uninsured... so they want to require healthcare insurance to help ensure that the government isn't going to foot the entire bill.

If healthcare providers could turn away those unable to pay then it makes sense to make healthcare insurance optional.

(1) My point is that coverage is mandated for everyone. One can choose not to own a car. Presumably, one does not have the option to stop breathing (unless you want to entertain an extreme analogy saying "well, one can choose to commit suicide & stop breathing". Otherwise, there is a huge difference between mandating coverage to obtain a privilege (driving) in order to protect other drivers and mandating health coverage for healthy people.
You are also presuming that everyone "needs" health insurance. What about those who are in good health & are willing to risk going without insurance? What about independently wealthy people who have enough money for health care? You insist that all those who have "health" need insurance. Does that include extremely healthy people who have a family history of long lifespans with little evidence of disease?
If we are going to mandate coverage on the basis of "need", why not mandate fire insurance? Home owners' insurance? Disability insurance? Catastrophic disease insurance? Dental insurance? I think that I need those things & pay for them; my neighbor may feel differently.

(2) Your second point regarding comprehensive applies only to those who get loans...not to everyone. Your point that "the government" will have to require insurance coverage of everyone in order to help ensure that "the government" isn't going to foot the entire bill is conveniently sidestepping a basic fact: the taxpayers ARE the government. Unless the treasury department is going to start cranking out bogus bills, the government already relies upon the taxpayers for its revenue.
In other words, some faceless entity known as "the government" isn't footing anything.
American citizens will be footing the entire bill both through their tax contributions & their private forced "donations". Either way, it's a tax on those who would otherwise not be buying insurance regardless of what other terms are used. As a matter of fact, I believe the term 'tax' in the "Gang of Six"'s proposed bill is used to describe the fines which will be imposed upon those who refuse to purchase insurance.
To me, the amazing thing is the transparency in which the mandates are being discussed. Advocates of the mandates are openly & freely admitting that the plan is relying upon premiums from healthy persons unlikely to use coverage in order to pay for treatments for others. Of course, the advocates see this as being only fair & right, but it should stand as a stark refutation of anyone who clings to the myth that "you can't legislate morality". I would hope that any American who complains about others "imposing their beliefs" upon them would rise in opposition to this plan. After all, isn't that exactly what this plan is doing?

(3) Your last point succinctly illustrates one of the consequences of living in a nanny state. If "the government" is going to be responsible for our health care...regardless of our poor choices, unhealthy or risky lifestyles, refusal to follow medical advice (or common sense), etc...then those who have stayed healthy are going to have to pony up the money to pay for others. Personally, I expect the government to provide for the GENERAL welfare...not MY SPECIFIC welfare. Yeah, I know...it's in the best interest of everyone to prevent epidemics, have healthy populations, etc. I've heard the arguments regarding the change in heart of many wealthy "reformers" whose wealth couldn't protect them from outbreaks of communicable diseases (thus prompting them to start promoting public aid to promote health out of self-interest). I just get tired of people lambasting religious organizations & charities out of one side of their mouth while simultaneously demanding enforced "charity". I am a firm believer in personal charity, but I am alarmed at a federal government which is assuming more power while demanding ever-increasing "tithes" to carry out "good works" in the name of the state.

(4) You say that dead people won't be required to have health insurance, but they'll still be paying for it through their estate taxes.

sracer 09-28-09 09:34 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by creekdipper (Post 9736131)
You are also presuming that everyone "needs" health insurance. What about those who are in good health & are willing to risk going without insurance? What about independently wealthy people who have enough money for health care?

Sorry, but your failure to understand the consequences of someone willing to risk going without insurance who cannot afford healthcare invalidates the remainder of your argument.

Virtually everyone needs healthcare insurance. With the current costs of healthcare a very small percentage of the population can afford the going rates for that care.

It's INSURANCE. It is coverage in case you need it.


The bottom line is that this country does not kick anyone to the curb to die if they can't afford it, or have no insurance. Change THAT and then your argument makes sense.

Sdallnct 09-29-09 12:28 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by sracer (Post 9736293)
Sorry, but your failure to understand the consequences of someone willing to risk going without insurance who cannot afford healthcare invalidates the remainder of your argument.

Virtually everyone needs healthcare insurance. With the current costs of healthcare a very small percentage of the population can afford the going rates for that care.

It's INSURANCE. It is coverage in case you need it.


The bottom line is that this country does not kick anyone to the curb to die if they can't afford it, or have no insurance. Change THAT and then your argument makes sense.

Well your making the argument to "spread the risk". Meaning even those that rarely use it, pay the same so that those that really need it don't have to pay to much. This is the same argument that Florida is making in homeowner insurance. Those in Ohio should help pay for their Hurricane insurance "because someday they will need help as well".

However, the actual insurance "rule" is not to spread the risk, but to spread the risk with like exposure. Meaning smokers who want life insurance pay more than non smokers. Overweight people who want life insurance pay more than those who are not overweight.

You maybe correct that healthy people may eventually need the coverage. But should they pay the same? It happens now with most group insurance, but I think it is a good question if we are talking about a federal option.

Auto insurance is the same. Drive a Corvette, pay more. Have an accident. Pay more. Have several accidents get dropped and have to go with a high risk carrier.

I'm not sure how you do that or if you do it. But I think it is a conversation or an option that could get more people in. All those young healthy people may be more receptive if they paid less.

orangecrush 09-29-09 09:47 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by Sdallnct (Post 9738358)
Well your making the argument to "spread the risk". Meaning even those that rarely use it, pay the same so that those that really need it don't have to pay to much. This is the same argument that Florida is making in homeowner insurance. Those in Ohio should help pay for their Hurricane insurance "because someday they will need help as well".

However, the actual insurance "rule" is not to spread the risk, but to spread the risk with like exposure. Meaning smokers who want life insurance pay more than non smokers. Overweight people who want life insurance pay more than those who are not overweight.

You maybe correct that healthy people may eventually need the coverage. But should they pay the same? It happens now with most group insurance, but I think it is a good question if we are talking about a federal option.

Auto insurance is the same. Drive a Corvette, pay more. Have an accident. Pay more. Have several accidents get dropped and have to go with a high risk carrier.

I'm not sure how you do that or if you do it. But I think it is a conversation or an option that could get more people in. All those young healthy people may be more receptive if they paid less.

Which is yet another reason why Health savings accounts coupled with high deductable insurance is a good solution. Young people who don't use health care as much will be able to save up money to pay for the care when they need it more.

creekdipper 09-29-09 11:51 AM

Re: Question About Car Insurance Analogy To Health Reform
 

Originally Posted by sracer (Post 9736293)
Sorry, but your failure to understand the consequences of someone willing to risk going without insurance who cannot afford healthcare invalidates the remainder of your argument.

Virtually everyone needs healthcare insurance. With the current costs of healthcare a very small percentage of the population can afford the going rates for that care.

It's INSURANCE. It is coverage in case you need it.


The bottom line is that this country does not kick anyone to the curb to die if they can't afford it, or have no insurance. Change THAT and then your argument makes sense.


I assume that by "consequences", you mean that the costs of treating uninsured people will be passed along to other taxpayers (AKA "the government").

That being the case, how are the consequences any different whether a person has health insurance or not? The current proposals clearly state that "subsidies" will pay the premiums for people who can't afford them...therefore, the cost will be passed along to taxpayers & people who can pay for insurance.

For those who can afford insurance but choose not to buy it, how is that any different from someone who chooses not to work? Do we not kick them to the curb & allow them to starve if they refuse to worK? How is that any different from refusing treatment if they are foolish enough to assume medical risks?

If health care is a Constitutionally-guaranteed 'right' as many are claiming, why is not the provision of food & shelter a basic right (even if a person could provide those things for themselves)? I MIGHT be able to live a long, healthy life without health insurance. I most certainly CANNOT survive without food & shelter. Is our country going to deny me those basic needs simply because I make foolish choices of am too selfish or lazy to support myself?


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