Why We Need More 'Uninsured' Americans

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medicine's true believers — who dominate the ranks of mainstream
news reporters and politicians — try to bludgeon us into believing
that the lack of medical insurance is a crisis, a disaster, and
a never-ending emergency.

Here's an example
of how a news report typically casts the "uninsured":

number of uninsured or underinsured people in the United States
is estimated to be about 46 million… they sit on the edge of
catastrophe." (Journal Times, Wisconsin, February
27, 2006)

But "uninsured"
Americans are usually nowhere near "catastrophe." They
have plenty of access to urgent care when they need it.

Moreover, they
save themselves a boatload of money by steering clear of one of
America's biggest money pits: health insurance.

We don't need
more insurance in America. We need much less.

The black
hole of medical insurance

Americans who
don't have health insurance are often neither poor nor do they lack
access to medical care. They simply choose not to buy insurance
because they believe it's a bad use of their money.

In Massachusetts
— the Overpriced Health Care Capital of the World — young, healthy
families can spend over $9,400 a year for the cheapest HMO policy
they can find, and over $19,800 for a broader coverage plan. Families
with middle-aged parents can spend over $30,000 — every year — to
be insured. The older you are, the more unaffordable it gets.

What's worse,
these exorbitant prices don't even guarantee that you'll be covered.
A policy's fine print gives insurance companies the option to terminate
your coverage if your care drags on too long. The insured who suffer
from a serious disease or medical trauma have to turn to the same
government welfare programs they would if they had no insurance
at all. What's the point of buying an insurance policy that doesn't
insure you in your times of greatest need?

The "Uninsured":
Down and out? Or smart investors?

The "uninsured"
are portrayed as poor, desolate souls on the brink of "catastrophe."
But contrary to media propaganda, they have access to the health
care they need.

The wealthy
don't need health insurance. Their money is better spent on investments
that provide a return. They can easily cover the cost of treating
a serious medical condition.

Many above-average
wage earners don't need insurance either. They're better off investing
their money in their retirement and withdrawing funds for health
care only if there's a need.

Even people
with no cash savings to fall back on — average and below-average
income families — are often able to insure themselves. They may
have an IRA or equity in a home or business they can borrow against
in the event of an emergency. Although a serious illness could wipe
out their assets, they at least have a chance of building wealth
— and not depleting what assets they have by forking over huge sums
for an overpriced medical insurance policy.

and families that invest the money they would otherwise spend on
medical insurance can build a nest egg worth over $100,000 in just
5 years. In 10 years it could grow to over $250,000 — enough to
cover a major health care catastrophe. Or buy a house. If they continue
to enjoy good health, they can retire as millionaires.

of medical insurance

There are other
good reasons to avoid medical insurance.

Whenever an
insurance company pays for health services, it drives up everyone's
cost — yours included — and renders health care services clumsy,
inefficient, and even dangerous.

Neither patients
nor providers have incentive to keep costs down. This encourages
doctors to prescribe procedures you don't need — raising costs for
insurance companies. They respond in turn by raising the price of
your premiums, raising the amount you must pay for co-pays and deductibles,
and reducing the services they cover.

In addition,
excess treatment can put your health at risk. Patients who undergo
unnecessary tests, operations, and drug regimens sometimes end up
with worse medical problems than they started with.

At the same
time, insurance rules forbid practitioners from giving you services
you actually need. Again, your health suffers.

When you pay
directly for services, you or someone you trust is in the driver's
seat. You and your health care providers have direct incentive to
give you high quality care at a reasonable price.

Medical insurance
co-pays, deductibles, and coverage denials make medical bills confusing
and hard to read. Billing errors are common — and difficult to correct.
You're forced to either pay what your bill instructs you to pay
or to try to avoid overpayment by submerging yourself in paperwork
that can be as complicated and infuriating as filing taxes.

The best way
to minimize billing hassles is to forgo medical insurance and pay
your providers directly for medical services.

If insurance
is such a bad investment, why do so many people have it?

Many Americans
have insurance because Big Government mandates it, subsidizes it,
and provides tax incentives for it.

Seniors are
forced to sign up for Medicare or they forfeit their Social Security
checks. Taxpayers are forced to fund high-priced health plans for
government employees. Employers are forced to provide their employees

If employers
were free to use the tax-free money they now spend on medical insurance
to pay tax-free wages instead, many employees would far prefer the
higher wages. It's a much better deal.

Others buy
insurance, or seek a job that provides insurance, because of the
horror stories they've heard about how expensive medical bills can
be. A catastrophic care episode can cost tens, even hundreds, of
thousands of dollars and leave a family in dire financial straights.

Big Government
is directly responsible for these high costs. Thousands of state
and federal laws, regulations, mandates, and subsidies drive up
the cost of health care. What should be a minimal part of the family
budget is a backbreaking expense. If we end Big Government Health
Care, prices will drop dramatically. Far fewer people will need
or want insurance.

Rather than
end these disastrous Big Government Health Care Programs and allow
prices to drop, Big Government Politicians seek to expand them.
They keep the demand for insurance artificially high.

People also
seek insurance because Big Government outlaws health care charity,
leaving poor people with medical problems nowhere else to turn but
to Big Government welfare programs.

Years ago,
medical special interests convinced politicians to shut down free
clinics for the poor, once common in the United States. Rather than
allow them to reopen, socialized medicine advocates claim that the
high cost of health care is the fault of people who refuse to buy
insurance and who run to a hospital emergency room instead every
time they have a problem. What they never admit is that Big Government
Politicians cut off poor people from life-saving zero cost, tax-free

Bemoaning the
"uninsured" is a ruse. Big Government Politicians drive
up the cost of health care. They drive affordable free-market alternatives
out of business. Then they blame the taxpayer for not buying health
insurance — made unaffordable by Big Government. It's a scam.

Get Big
Government out of health care

We must reject
calls for more insurance. Rather, we should celebrate every time
Americans free themselves from unnecessary and oppressively overpriced
government-mandated health insurance.

What we need
is to bring down the high cost of health care by removing Big Government
health care prohibitions, mandates, regulations, and subsidies.
We must vote against every politician who refuses to tear them down.
Who deny us our health freedom.

When we separate
health care from government, we’ll dissolve the government-created
demand for needless, high-priced medical insurance. We will enjoy
higher quality, cost-conscious health care. We’ll take $1 trillion
every year from overpriced medical spending — and put it back in
the pockets of working Americans.

13, 2006

Howell [send
her mail
] sponsored the 2002 Massachusetts ballot initiative
to End the State Income Tax — which would have immediately cut state
government spending by 39%. Her initiative nearly won with 45% of
the vote. She is Co-Founder and President of the Center
For Small Government

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