The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Health "insurance" isn't really insurance

One of the things that probably causes a lot of difficulty in discussing the whole healthcare business is the fact that people speak of "health insurance." Now, when someone buys fire insurance, one really does not expect that one is going to get paid off out of the insurance; the chance of a real fire is small, so the premium is small. Even for life insurance, while we all expect to die, we probably will not die this year, or even very soon, so the insurance company takes the premium and uses a part of it to cover current liabilities (the people who do die in a given year), but most of it is invested until it's needed.

"Health insurance" is different. Most people will go to the doctor, at least for minor things like checkups, every year. And so every policy pays out something every year. It's really more a prepayment plan than an insurance plan. And if we called it that, it would make our discussioms more relevant to the health care problem.

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