Why Pre-Existing Conditions Matter

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

In the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, there is a provision that requires health insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions. While the majority has condemned the insurance mandate of the ACA, most are in favor of pre-existing condition coverage being forced onto health insurers.ACA%20image[1]

However, I feel that this is unwitting hypocrisy. How can someone oppose the government forcing them to pay for something but be OK with the government forcing someone else to? We oppose the mandate because we empathize with those who feel they don’t need to buy health insurance right now. But with pre-existing conditions, we then imagine situations where we lose our job and insurance and then are unable to get coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and lose our wonderful powers of empathy we had a moment ago and decide “f*** the insurance companies.”

This is what happens when people don’t care where money is coming from or who the loss hurts, as long as it benefits them personally.

It seems cruel to people that insurance companies would deny pre-existing conditions, but quite frankly, it’s wrong for us to expect them to cover them. I’d like to think it is because people don’t fully understand the issues with this, so having an insurance background, I’ll try to explain.

Imagine you decide to trade in your car which happens to have a irreparably damaged engine—now only serving the function of an industrial-sized paperweight. The car should be worth $5,000, but it needs $3,000 worth of repairs. The dealer takes the car in on trade for $2,000, and then resells it without fixing the engine. Instead, they sell the new buyer a $1,000 warranty. The new owner takes the car to a repair shop to address the blown engine, submits the claim, and now the $1,000 policy is supposed to pay for a $3,000 engine repair everyone knew it needed before all of this started?

Engine Which Has Suffered a Connecting Rod Failure
Engine Which Has Suffered a Connecting Rod Failure

The insurance company would immediately take a $2,000 loss that it would have no way to recover since the policy was paid in full up front for $1,000. While the consumer and dealer might think this is awesome, the insurance company and all its employees who are about to go out of business because they’re repeatedly taking unrecoverable loss, won’t be as pleased.

The ultimate truth is that covering a pre-existing condition is not insurance, it’s a grant.

Insurance is designed so that the insured pays a premium up front, and in return, the insurer takes a financial risk that the insured can’t afford to take themselves. What’s the risk you ask?

Imagine you open a collision policy, and then pay your first premium of $200. On the way home from the agent’s office, you plow into someone and send them to the hospital with a quarter-million dollar medical bill. Guess what? The insurance company just lost $249,800 on you, and there is nothing to stop you from canceling your policy immediately after, leaving them with a massive loss. That’s a legitimate risk they take every single day.gap-insurance-1[1]

The way they make a profit is by employing actuaries who calculate the insurance company’s anticipated claims using mathematical models, then the insurer charges a percentage above that in hopes the actuaries are have nailed their projected losses. You the consumer benefit because you passed that risk of a $250,000 settlement you might have incurred and can’t afford onto the insurance company, in favor of a monthly payment you can afford.

Here’s the reason I say that covering pre-existing conditions is a grant. What is to stop you from dropping your insurance company after you’ve had a massive claim like that? The answer is nothing. In the accident situation I explained, it is the risk the insurance companies take. While they lost, risk is the business they are in after all.

But in the pre-existing condition situation, there is absolutely no risk. You already have the condition, and they are going to be expected to pay for it. The word risk implies they may or may not incur damages, but with pre-existing conditions, risk is replaced with certainty because now they are liable for something you knew existed—because it was PRE-EXISTING.

Imagine you owned an insurance company and someone drove up with their car on a tow truck smashed to bits, requesting to start a full coverage policy with you. Are you really going to agree to that deal knowing that the claimant is going to give you $200 only to file a $10,000 claim tomorrow? If you’re answer is yes, you may want to avoid starting your own company. So, using the “Golden Rule” as a standard, why are we doing unto them, what we wouldn’t want done unto us?gap-insurance-1[1]

I am not a heartless person who thinks people should be left to die. But, aside from the obvious personal responsibility issues of people who can buy insurance but opt not to, I believe we should not be treating insurance companies as if they’re Satan in business form, and that taking advantage of them should be considered an acceptable or even honorable practice. They employ a lot of people and help keep our economy strong by assuming those risks most of us can’t afford for a nominal fee we can. If you don’t like it, feel free to take that risk yourself if you can afford to.

Contrary to left-wing beliefs, insurance companies do not have a bottomless wallet. They can, and often do, go out of business if their losses become excessive, just like any other business. Which hurts all the people who work for them.

So while this law doesn’t pass the costs onto the taxpayer per se, insurance companies will pass it to the consumer in the form of raised rates, lest they go out of business. Many of you have no doubt noticed the rate increases already. And while we’re at it, taxpayer and consumer are generally the same people; it’s just the former implies the government pilfered a few bucks first.

There is a better way to improve the health care system through deregulation and tort reform which would lower costs. Taking advantage of legitimate businesses that are then forced to pass those damages onto us is not the answer.

The “Government-Is-Not-For-Profit” Act

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

Years ago, there existed a town near me called New Rome, Ohio. It was a small town of about 60 people, but they had a police force of 14 officers. That’s right, one policeman for approximately every four citizens!

You may think that sounds really good at first, if you’re no a libertarian like me, but if you do some simple math, a police officer making $40k a year would have cost each New Rome citizen $10,000 a year. Imagine that debit to your checking account for a minute. tumblr_myo00j3wKh1ririjeo1_500[1]

So how did they pay for this? New Rome police had a lucrative business via a stretch of US Route 40 that went from 45 mph to 35 mph, even though the conditions of the road changed in no way to warrant the decrease. Many unwitting travelers got caught up in their highly effective trap, and New Rome raked in the cash.

Eventually, this corruption was discovered, and New Rome was disbanded and absorbed by a nearby township.

I highly doubt New Rome is the only example of this kind of corrupt greed in government. There are likely hundreds of towns scattered throughout the country who thrive by their ticket-writing dexterity, and it’s shameful.

Government is not a business. The purpose of a government by the people and for the people is simple. “We the people” appoint representatives to protect our rights from others who threaten them, and we pay them a modest salary to do so. Aside from protecting our rights, they should make every attempt to stay out of our life because THEY work for US. Just as you wouldn’t impede your bosses at work unless you felt one was stealing from the company, so you reported them to another, police should leave you alone in the same way.Police Officer

The government was never designed to be profitable nor generate income. Government is to collect the taxes needed to do the people’s business, and not a penny more.

I know my left wing friends are not supportive of the idea of limited government, but I think even they’d agree that unless the people are asking for something to be done, government officials should not take it upon themselves to do it.

As such, the government should never have a financial incentive to govern, but instead only a constitutional or lawful incentive to protect our aforementioned rights.

I believe most Americans would be upset that a government agency was in business like New Rome, and some people might propose a standard on how many policemen per citizen are allowed, but I think that’s the wrong approach for fear it would become a standard, not a limit.

So being the audacious guy I am; I have a unique proposal that I’d love to see get a little traction in order to insure the government doesn’t wrongly feed itself. If it does gain traction, you can say you saw it here first! We’ll call it the “Government-Is-Not-For-Profit” act.

 • The government shall only collect revenue from taxes based on either the taxpayer’s income or product consumption. Other means of revenue such as, but not limited to penalties and fines, are strictly prohibited from being directed to government agencies.got-a-speeding-ticket-how-does-it-effect-my-auto-insurance-250x250[1]

• If fines are used as a method of penalization and dissuasion, those fines should only be payable to a legitimate charity, and the receipt from that charitable donation which is to be greater than or equal to the fine and paid between the period of the judgment and the due date shall be furnished to the government as the only allowable means of restitution.

• The government shall not use any action by a machine or device as the impetus for prosecution. Such devices shall only be used as investigative tools after a crime or misdemeanor has occurred and/or been witnessed and reported, or for scientific study without possibility of prosecution.

To explain the purpose of this better, the first provision would ensure that the government only collects revenue from all citizens in an equal and fair measure and prohibit any concept of incentivizing revenue.

The second provision would give the government a method for financially penalizing offenders, but instead of collecting the money themselves, the money would be directed toward a charity of the offender’s choice. For instance, if I get cited $100 for speeding, I would then donate that $100+ to the Red Cross, for instance, and send my receipt to the government to show I paid the fine to a legal charity. That way I still get penalized, but the government had no financial incentive to penalize me, only an incentive born out of safety, as it should be. As an added bonus, charitable donations are significantly increased.

The last one is about the growing “Big Brother” traffic cameras that dole out tickets purely for revenue, which have little to do with public safety. This provision would ensure that at no point are we being governed by machines. I understand the argument that a police officer must first review it, but I don’t care. It’s the dawning of Big Brother, and it needs to stop.big_brother_obama_parody_poster-p228489253510086489tdcp_400[1]

The point of all of this is simple. We the people decide how we are to be governed, and while we want the government to protect our rights, we also want them to understand that they work at our behest, and that feeding themselves at our expense so that they may grow their own agenda, which may be contradictory to our own, is strictly prohibited. They should be likened to referees in a sports event. You need them there to make sure we all play by the rules, but they should never be seen as the stars of the show.

The spirit of legislation is to protect the public. For instance, if a driver, alone in his car, is lightly speeding, and he’s the only one on the road, then it shouldn’t matter as he’s only a danger to himself. As soon as he goes zipping past another motorist, then it’s a problem.

Police understand this, which is why many just give warnings and generally honor the 5-10 mph grace speed in favor of nabbing the person who was truly driving dangerously. We just need to make sure all government officials think that way and taking away their incentive to fine and penalize is a perfect means to that end.



The Myth Of Greedy Capitalists

I have this horrible recurring dream that millions of college students die from alcohol poisoning after playing a drinking game during an Obama speech. When he uses the word “fair-share,” they are required to drink a shot. (Please kids, don’t try this at home)

It is a well-known psychological trick that overuse of a word is often done with the purpose of being permanently associated with it through subliminal suggestion. I don’t profess to know what is in Obama’s heart, and you should be wary of anyone in the media who says they do. But I don’t believe it is an accident that he uses this word over and over again so that he may mildly brainwash everyone to believe he is the only candidate who cares about you getting a fair shot. Political strategists certainly know and would advise him to use such a tactic. Disingenuous or not, it is effective.Obama-golfing[1]

However, let’s take a look at this from a skeptical point of view and analyze what it presumes. If he is saying this as a means of promoting himself above another candidate, then that means he is also saying other candidates do not want you to have a fair shot. If they all believe in fairness, then there’s no more point in bringing it up, right? For instance, no candidate campaigns on the platform of prosecuting murderers because we all want that, and saying so, would not set that candidate apart from their competitors.

So this then means that, in selling himself as the candidate of fairness, Obama is asserting that Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon who donated his father’s inheritance to the church so that it could be used to help those less fortunate and so that he could earn his own way instead, somehow only wants rich people to succeed and poor people to stay poor. Is this narrative starting to sound pretty ridiculous yet?

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

Let’s dig a little deeper. How do rich people get rich? They sell products or services. The richest of the rich sell products to the masses. The late Enzo Ferrari likely made a pretty centesimo, but he was nowhere near the financial status of a Bill Gates for instance. If poor people stay poor, can they buy a Windows computer?

So if some conspiracy theorist is ignorant enough to believe that all rich people get together in some sort of bourgeois yacht club meeting and collude to keep the proletariat down, then explain to me how they benefit by impoverishing their intended customers.

The idea that rich people benefit from everyone else being poor only works in a socialist model where the rich can forcefully take from the poor, and force them into servitude, not a capitalist one where the rich depend on the masses to buy their goods.

I am to wealth what a McDonald’s Hamburger is to a steak. But I am increasingly disgusted with the idea that the boogeyman is synonymous with a capitalist. Because, while I may not be rich, I have goals and dreams that include becoming wealthy one day, and I’m not about to be told I’m a bad person for wanting it or that I’ll be a bad person if I attain it.

I believe everyone is a greedy capitalist. Some aren’t willing to work as hard as others, some aren’t willing to work as honestly as others, and some refuse to believe that people richer than them deserve more for their efforts. Apathy, jealousy, complacency, and sometimes just dumb luck prevent most of us from achieving our dreams. But we all want more than what we have, we all want success. Then, once we’ve achieved it, we all want control how it is shared with others.

So while I credit Obama with a smart tactic, and let’s not lie to ourselves, it is working with those who don’t bother to put a critical eye to it as I have done, it is still just a psychological trick, not an indication of someone who understands how to make America better through hard work, critical thinking, and an honest assessment of the historical evidence of socialism versus capitalism.

We know socialism has no successful models to point to, yet he promotes socialistic policies. We know that over-regulation causes business owners to pull their money into their proverbial turtle shell until the “predator” passes by instead of investing, hiring, and growing the economy, yet he pushes the EPA and OSHA farther and farther into territory they were never intended to occupy at the peril of every entrepreneur trying to become a productive part of America. We know that forcing people to be self-sufficient by kicking them out of the nest works, yet by advocating more entitlements instead of less, he continues to enable those who would rather be on a permanent government funded vacation.EPA-Logo

Ronald Reagan humorously quipped, “The best minds aren’t in government. If any were, business would hire them away.”

President Obama telling Romney how to help businesses grow, and vicariously our economy, seems to me like Obama telling Tiger Woods how to fix his golf swing. So you can vote for the guy that says he’ll solve all your problems for you, but I’ll vote for the guy who honestly says, “I don’t understand your problems as well as you do, so let me get the hell out of your way.”