For the most part, insurance is a good thing. Fire, flood, theft, and auto accidents are all things that happen seldom enough to an individual, and are costly enough, that it is hard to set up a personal emergency fund that will cover their costs. Insurance companies are profit making businesses. Big profits. They make some of their profits by denying claims. Sometimes, if these claims are resubmitted, maybe a number of times, they are then paid. It’s a game, with the insured having a much greater stake in the game.
Health is not a matter of occasional calamity. It’s something that people must attend to constantly. Payments are made for inoculations, physical examinations, having babies, day-to-day minor and major illnesses, prescriptions, treatment of ongoing problems and many other things. The cost of these things must be paid and should not be different if you have insurance for the specific problem. Healthcare is NOT a suitable topic for insurance. It is NOT a suitable subject for some third party to make a profit.
Either there should be a single payer for healthcare bills, making payments from a national pool and not making a profit out of it, or there should only be personal payments. But some health costs are huge, well beyond the means of all but the wealthiest among us. These must come from a pool. I guess there could be a pool for all major-medical payments, and personal payments for the rest. But why not pay them all from a pool like so many other advanced countries do? It would sure remove the fear of bankruptcy from unlucky Americans.
I understand that there are still the questions of the source of funding, of how to oversee what gets charged and paid, and of the inflated costs in the United States versus the rest of the world. I’ll probably write about these things in the future. But the key point I’m trying to make here is that we need to provide healthcare for Americans that is not just a flip of the insurance coin, followed by a spin of the cost roulette wheel. It’s our health. It’s NOT a game.