Friday, October 16, 2009

The unreal world of Washington DC

Maryland senator Barbara Mikulski was at a hearing on the big, bad health insurance companies yesterday and heard horror stories of $5,000 deductibles and declined policy applications for women of child-bearing age.

One woman was told that because her last pregnancy was a C-section the insurance company in question told her they would not write a policy for her unless she had her tubes tied. (Later that company said they would write her policy but it would be expensive.)

And Mikulski commented, "I found it offensive and morally repugnant and I intend to do something about it."

The senator has been in Washington since 1977. Perhaps she should get out more.

When we were first married we bought maternity insurance. And it was very expensive. And there is a reason for it. There is nowhere to go to subsidize the risk; nowhere to spread it.

Everyone who buys a maternity policy intends to collect on it soon. It is not a matter of "if" but "when" the insurance company will pay out. The "peace of mind" comes to the policy holder because if something goes terribly wrong they will be protected.

This is not a good position for an insurance company. They would need to charge the full amount of the average bill as a premium or they would be doing charity work.

What the veteran senator is saying is that insurance companies ought to ignore the risk and give these women cheaper policies. The reason insuring the health of women is more expensive is the success of women's health awareness programs. Frankly, they are tested and treated more than men.

In the real world, you can't pay out more than you take in.

So, Senator Mikulski, who pays the difference in your America? Insurance companies can't just print money like you can. They can't just pass a bill with the board of directors for more funny money like you do when some agency needs more funding.

And what happens in Mikulski's America when they cover risk with no thought for how it will be funded?

I love what Walter Williams said recently about taxation and entitlements: "Absent Santa Claus or the tooth fairy, the only way government can give one American a dollar in the name of this or that good thing is by taking it from some other American by force."

This whole Obamacare mess is a prime example of Washington being out of touch with reality.

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