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July 31, 2009

If Food Doesn't Require Insurance, Health Care Doesn't Require Insurance

With all of the fuss in DC surrounding Congress working on sponsoring new health care initiatives, it doesn't seem like anyone has asked this basic question: is health care truly that critical?  Here's the short question and answer - if you don't have health care for a year, will the average person die?  No.  Some people may, but most people won't.

Here's another way to look at it:

  1. If you don't eat for a year, will you die?  Yes, everyone will.  
  2. If you don't get water for a year, will you die?  Yes, everyone will.
  3. If you aren't able to shield yourself from the elements with shelter, clothing, and blankets will you die during the winter or get shade in the summer?  If it gets very hot or cold, then yes, most people will, especially if they don't have a source of fire or heat in the winter.

So if health care is less critical than food, water, shelter, and clothing, but the average person pays for their own food, water, shelter, and clothing, is able to afford it, and has seen the cost of each of those items drop over the last 50 years, then why are people arguing that we need to require everyone to expand the role of health insurance and government in health care?  It doesn't make any sense.  

You don't buy food, water, shelter, or clothing insurance in order to buy these most basic necessities.  Necessities, nonetheless, that you require in order to live and without which you will die.  If the average person walking into a store or looking at homes did need insurance for these, it would make prices go up and make people starve and die, because they would waste time having to get approval from their provider to see if they could buy the apples that went on sale for 99 cents a pound.  Sound familiar?

So if people can pay for their own food, water, shelter, and clothing, and small government programs like food stamps and charities, such as food banks, can provide the basic human needs we need without big insurance programs and mandates, then people should pay for their own health care, directly.  If people paid for their own basic health care without insurance, you would see costs drop, quality increase, and everyone would be able to afford it and would get it.  Insurance would be used just like homeowners insurance, in case something really bad happened.

If you want everyone to have health care and have lower costs for health care, people should be allowed to pay for their own basic health care and buy insurance for only things that are catastrophic.

Related Article:
Controlling Rising Health Care Costs - Give the Power to the People


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