July 7, 2012
Pre-Existing ConfusionBy Bill Schanefelt
It is stunning to watch Republicans being put on the defensive time and time again by the "Pre-Existing Conditions" argument.
Every word has meaning and power:
Aside from using the free ride to be given to the under-26 crowd, the most common club used on our team is the nonsense that the existence of a pre-existing condition must not restrict or deny a person's "right" to health insurance.
The very utterance of that notion conveys ignorance of the meanings of insurance -- namely, "[c]overage by a contract binding a party to indemnify another against specified loss in return for premiums paid[.]"
Then there's the meaning of insurance contract:
And actuarial risk:
And, of course, Pre-Existing Condition:
Let's look at some situations wherein the word "pre-existing" is a factor:
Take the case of John, a typical person with coverage for his diabetes by his employer's insurer, who leaves his current employer, Jack, to go to work for Jim. Coverage for that pre-existing condition, diabetes, by Jim's insurer is a common situation for which there are many current and proposed remedies that are less drastic than ObamaTax. Similar remedies are also currently available in the case of John's leaving Jack for self-employment or no employment.
Or take the case of Jerry, a working or non-working person who has no health insurance and who falls off his bike and breaks his head open. Currently Jerry is uninsured, so he should be out of luck if he goes to an insurance broker, Jake, and tells Jake he wants to buy insurance to cover that pre-existing condition -- to wit, his cracked head. Jerry's case is, unfortunately for us, the prime example upon which the hellacious monster, ObamaTax, is based, because Jerry is often unable, himself, to pay for treatment for his cracked head. A simple remedy, beyond that which exists today -- payment for his treatment by you and me -- cannot easily be forged, but that cannot be an intellectually honest rationale for the monster.
Likewise, Jerry should be denied fire insurance by Jake for his house that has the pre-existing condition of having been destroyed by fire the night before Jerry went to see Jake, and no rational person argues that he should not be denied that coverage.
Similarly, Jerry should be denied health insurance by Jake for his diagnosis of diabetes if he received that diagnosis from Dr. Joseph the day before he asked Jake to sell him insurance for the pre-existing condition of diabetes.
In any contrary instance, insurance is not actually insurance at all, but rather single-payer, socialistic, National Health Service-like universal coverage.
Or, with deference to Clausewitz, ObamaTax is a continuation of single-payer, socialistic, National Health Service-like universal coverage by other means.
However, in this case, it is also a pack of lies, as Clark Judge explains here in his weekly column on Hugh Hewitt's blog:
CBS, establishing that it considers prime talent someone NBC cum MSNBC declined to fight hard to keep from leaving, had Norah O'Donnell substitute for the chronically confused Bob Schieffer on a program nobody watches this past Sunday.
No, Mr. Speaker, the answer to that nonsense by you and every other Republican from now until November 6 (and even beyond) is: Norah or David or Bob or Chris or whoever, do you really believe that Jerry would be being discriminated against by Jake if Jake declines to sell Jerry fire insurance for his house that has the pre-existing condition of having been destroyed by fire the night before Jerry went to see Jake? Huh, Norah? Huh, David? Huh, Bob? Huh. Chris?
O'Donnell and her ilk and those around the Preezy of the United Steezy may well believe that nonsense, for none of them have real-world experiences, but that's no excuse for letting them get away with saying it.
Given that the deck that is stacked against them, and given their history fighting wars of words (remember the "school lunch" battles), I am less than sanguine that the Republicans will turn the club to a sword, but, hey, maybe Reince Preibus will read this and do as good a job of changing the direction of the rhetorical dialogue as he has with that of fundraising:
Hope springs eternal. After all, I once succeeded, with much gnashing of teeth and twisting of arms, to get my staff to say "Allow to take possession of the yacht a day early" rather than "Sleep aboard" when the hotel was full and late arrivals to the resort did not have rooms.
The author once managed a charter yacht fleet and resort in the Caribbean.
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