Sunday, February 12, 2012

There is No Free Lunch - Nor Insurance Benefit

Finally, we have a prime example of what happens when government oversteps and what we need to know before we let any more all encompassing government programs become law.  Especially when no one reads the bill and the "Secretary shall" is the most often used term.

Fortunately the Catholic church is a large enough organization to have some clout.  Whether you agree with their premise or not, it is an intrusion by government into not only a relgious organization holding specific beliefs but also into private sector business.

I am of course talking about the contraception flap.  What many of us may not realize is that anyone who has health insurance has been paying for benefits they neither want nor need for years.  Many of those so called benefits have nothing to do with health care at all but rather are lifestyle enhancements.

It started with state insurance commissioners demanding certain benefits be included in all policies.  I first became aware of it when we were mandated to have maternity benefits.  I was in my 50s at the time.  I neither wanted nor needed them yet was forced to pay for those who did.

Things went from bad to worse.  Some states require that hair transplants be covered as well as viagra.  Neither have squat to do with a persons well being.  If you claim it's an esteem issue than there would be no stopping it.  That's what government mandates can and will do.

Keep the government out of health care.  If their is sufficient a demand for a benefit, insurance companies will come up with packages to cover it.

In the same vein we need to keep government out of investing in 'green' companies like Solyndra.  They obviously won't keep politics out of it or they'd have never invested, as they like to call it, in a company already failing and about which they had been forewarned in the first place.

Re-electing Obama will only bring about more of the same, not less.  When it comes to companies being able to plan for the future, government mandates are a huge problem.  If Madam or Mister Secretary shall mandate the payment of contraception in this administration, there is nothing to say that in a following administration under a different party or even the same party but different leadership it has to remain.  How can you plan insurance coverage around that without it getting prohibitively expensive?

Maybe the Catholics will win this one.  They seem to be digging deeply enough to find even more flaws than those already exposed.  Obama, I suspect, will dig his heels in as he likes to do and pronounce it will be his way or the highway.

Actually, the highway(s) need more help than insurance companies anyway.  Maybe he should start putting his money where his mouth once said he would - into infrastructure.  At least we'd then be able to drive to a hospital!


Margie's Musings said...

A very knowledgable friend of mine posted this explanation of the health care flap. You will find it on my blog.

R W Rawles said...

I agree with you on this:

"Some states require that hair transplants be covered as well as viagra. Neither have squat to do with a persons well being. If you claim it's an esteem issue than there would be no stopping it."

But I do not think our national health insurance should be a corporate product. I'd rather keep the profit system out of healthcare than government. Medicare 4 All, Baby!

Anonymous said...

Well-written, Mari, another interesting and informative gem. Personally, I like the concept of a government "being there" for its citizens (as it should be given its existence is/well, should be derived from the people), but I appreciate your sensible warning that given a foot hole/inch into regulating our private lives, where does the buck stop...