Day By Day

Friday, October 12, 2007

Steyn on Health Insurance

Mark Steyn gets it exactly right. He writes:
In most cases, "insurance" insures against unlikely events. Your house is highly unlikely to burn down, but, if it happens, it's life-changing, so you insure against it. Health care is all but certain, especially in a western world where longevity and falling birth rates are producing a society where a big chunk of the population will be nonagenarians requiring long-term Alzheimer's or other care for the last fifth of their life. I would prefer a system in which we distinguish between routine ailments and catastrophic medical needs. For the former, it would be cheaper (and healthier) to restore a direct doctor/patient financial relationship. For the latter, a more limited insurance system would be better.
Read it here.

This is precisely what President Bush tried to do with the prescription drug add-on to Medicare -- make the program voluntary and restrict it to compensation for catastrophic emergencies. Such a program would be far more affordable than blanket coverage and would provide citizens with some protection against the economic consequences of catastrophic illness.

It's an eminently sensible approach to the problem, but Washington's movers and shakers respond to reasonable and sensible ideas like vampires to crosses.