June 28, 2012

Poor Arguments in John Stossel's Health Care Opinion Piece

I really don't understand John Stossel's opinion piece on the health care ruling.

In one sentence he says, "No more cruel discrimination against the obese or people with cancer." But then he compares that with optional flood insurance and car insurance costing more for risky drivers. Last I checked there wasn't a whole lof of 'risky' behavior that I can eliminate to seriously reduce my chances for brain cancer, colon cancer, or breast cancer. Black people are more susceptible to certain diseases--can they become less black?

Likewise, there are some risky behaviors that are supposed to, overall, have benefits that outweigh the risks. Such as playing sports, which is more likely to result in broken bones. Have you done a genetic analysis lately to find out if red wine is going to decrease your chance of a heart attack, or instead destroy your liver? Don't like (or can't afford) to eat fish twice a week? Your insurance premiums should go up.

Later on, he talks about everyone getting health care because hospitals treat those without insurance, medicaid (government health care funded by taxes) is available, people pay cash, or doctors will let some people pay less or nothing if they can't afford it. Other than pro-bono work, the rest of those don't seem like amazing options when your child is diagnosed with leukemia. And I kind of doubt the hospital is going to handle that pro-bono.

There are a dozen things we pay for collectively that aren't directly linked to our individual chance of contributing to the need for that thing. Criminals don't pay more taxes to fund the police or justice system. People who buy boxes of matches don't pay more taxes to fund fire departments. Politicians who weaken political relationships with other countries don't pay more for the increased intelligence gathering and military operations that result (maybe they should). The reason is that we know that our civilization is better off with people having the social and financial security and stability associated with those services.

Posted by josuah at June 28, 2012 11:26 PM UTC+00:00

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