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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Man I've been waiting for a forum like this. Thanks WebSlave!!;)


Over a year ago when I quit my day job and became self employed, I was faced with the task of finding health insurance for my wife and I. It's basically a necessity of life any more, especially when you start racking up the years. Boy, was that an eye opener! But I don't understand it at all.

How come there are federal, state, and local laws specifically prohibiting the discrimination against race, sex, creed, religion, age, etc., etc., yet this does not apply to insurance agencies. Take a look at their applications and rates. You will pay a different rate based on how old you are, what sex you are, and where you live (which census demographic data can pretty much tell you this).

Yet if I were to offer a job to someone, and specify that that person must be a white male between 18 and 25, I would have riots in my driveway. Yet what is the difference? The insurance companies can claim that their rates are based on the likelihood of certain classes of people being shown to cost them more money. Well, as an employer, wouldn't that hold true as well? Older people will likely be out sick more. Males will generally not take maternity leave, and are preferred to have around if I may have some heavy lifting to be done. And I just may not like having Peruvians working for me, so I wouldn't want to hire them (this is just a wild example by the way, I really have nothing against people from Peru!).

So how do the insurance companies get away with it? Why should I have to pay more for a premium based on criteria that there are laws on the books stating emphatically that companies specifically can not use in a discriminatory manner?

Just REAL curious about this.
:angry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, why does Congress allow this to occur? Because if it didn't the insurance industry would fall flat in a matter of years. If companies could not raise premiums to account for probabilities based on customer classes, if they could not deselect applicants based on actuarial tables, the bottom would literally fall out of the financial markets.

Darin,

When I first read your reply, I thought this sounded very reasonable and certainly seemed to explain the situation very well. And I meant to get back to it and tell you so. However things got busy, but all the while this has been bumping around inside of me head. Well time was good for the ideas to ferment I guess, as the longer it boiled, the more focused my opinion came.

Basically my opinion is that if an entire industry, and this would have to include the financial markets as well, are based on the perpetration of an exemption to a law that the rest of the country is supposed to be held accountable for, then that industry is not needed for this country. This is along the same lines, of the rumors that float around all of the time about revolutionary inventions or discoveries that would change the world, but are suppressed because the change would negatively impact businesss. What would it do to the health industry if a 100 percent cure for cancer were found? What would it to to the power and light companies if a manner of extracting unlimited free energy were discovered or invented? A form of rubber for tires that would never wear out? Light bulbs that would last forever? A car engine that would never wear out? Those sorts of things.

Basically, my opinion is that insurance companies made the bed they are sleeping in, and are now whining to congress that the mattress is too lumpy. I am old enough to remember when doctors used to come to your house, you paid them on the spot, and it didn't cost you an arm and a leg for them just to tell you to take two aspirins, get some bed rest, drink plenty of fluids, and call him in the morning if things aren't looking better.

What is the history of the creation of the first health insurance agency? From what I remember, it was composed of a group of doctors that figured out a way to have a constant stable income every month instead of relying on the whims of nature to make people sick enough to come in to them and spend money for their advice. I suspect, perhaps, that they did not realize the unintended consequences that have evolved from their business venture.

They made the real cost of health transparent to the end user. They made it so that the cost was irrelevant to the end user, since they didn't have to pay for it. What else could possibly happen except that prices would continue to ratchet upwards until people could no longer afford health care without insurance. Or perhaps this was not an unintended consequence, after all.

Basically if the insurance industry cannot survive because it's business model requires discrimination of the sort that the rest of industry is not allowed to do because of legal restrictions, then it has no place in our society. It is not the government's place to protect them, and it is not our place, as citizens to accept some flimsy argument that the world as we know it will fail if they fail. Insurance started out as possibly a good idea that was optional to everyone whom could afford it. They have made it into something that they WANT to be required by every living breathing soul on this planet. I wish I could get a law passed that everyone is REQUIRED to have a corn snake just as the insurance industry has had laws passed REQUIRING that everyone whom drives needs to have insurance. What sort of back room deals do you think took place for that little gem of legislation?

I believe the insurance industry makes a LOT of money. So much money that they can and have bought legislators and paved the way for where they are now with that money. How else can they get themselves exempted from the law? They pay TONS for advertising and donations. How else do they escape the notice of the media for what they are doing?

And yet they cry 'wolf' all of the time. The occasional hurricane in Florida will bankrupt them? That's the kind of protection they sold themselves to us for. If your business cannot be profitable providing the services you claimed you could in your advertising, if you feel you have to fight everyone whom tries to make a claim for those services they bought, part and parcel, when the policy was signed and paid for, if your business cannot survive without your DISCRIMINATING against major portions of the population, then perhaps it is time for your industry to just fade away. I don't think it is necessity speaking here when it is said such things are required for the health of the finances of a country. I believe it is pure naked greed we are seeing. And if by some change their finances may start hurting, I submit that it is likely because they have had to pay off far too many people in government for too long to keep their industry alive. That is likely where their REAL expenses are. IMHO.

Just do the math. Figure one person paying health insurance, either personally or as an employee, for 30 years. Multiply that times a reasonable number of people across the country also doing the same thing. They are playing the percentages, just like the gambling casinos. And everyone knows, the house ALWAYS wins.
 
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