Americanly Yours

Promoting Free Markets, Free Trade, and Freedom!

Why Mandating Coverage For Preexisting Conditions Is Morally Wrong

July 16, 2012 By: Phred Category: Uncategorized

Despite overall disapproval with President Obama’s health care law, many of its provisions remain popular.  Perhaps the most popular provision in the law is one that prevents insurance companies from discriminating against customers based on “preexisting conditions.”  The logic is relatively simple at first glance: people with debilitating conditions will not be able to get coverage at affordable prices unless Congress mandates that insurance companies cannot discriminate against those with a preexisting condition.

We all know someone with a preexisting medical condition, be it cancer, diabetes, or pregnancy.  The fact that we all know someone who currently has or previously has had a preexisting condition is one reason why this provision is so popular.  After all, it is difficult to argue with someone who uses the emotional appeal of an aunt with cancer or a single pregnant woman who is uninsured.  Emotional appeals can be used to “justify” any side of any issue but they cannot prove anything.  Preexisting conditions can be tragically sad and are often not the fault of anyone, be it the victim or society as a whole.

There is a very important question that we must ask before we decide whether or not such a provision is a good idea: is it appropriate to punish someone who has done nothing wrong?

This is a very serious question.  If we decide that it is appropriate to punish someone who has committed no wrong, then we must not only answer why it is appropriate to punish the innocent, but who should punish the innocent and how severely they should be punished for their non-wrongs.

I do not see how any rational person who has thought about this question can decide that it is morally acceptable to punish a person who has done nothing wrong.

Therefore, if it is not appropriate to punish someone who has done nothing wrong, then we must absolutely reject the idea of Congress mandating that insurance companies not discriminate against those with preexisting conditions.  The reason for this is simple: forcing insurance companies to provide “affordable” coverage for those with preexisting conditions must result in increased costs for those of us without preexisting conditions.

Insurance is a vehicle which prices and protects against risk.  This is usually done by assigning people with similar characteristics to “risk pools” and charging them similar premiums.  In a free market for health insurance, 35 year old male smokers residing in the Chicago area who are overweight and have type 2 diabetes are likely to be placed in the same pool and will be charged the same or a similar monthly premium.  Under a system where insurance companies are prevented from discriminating against those with preexisting conditions, the previous group is merged with the group of 35 year old male smokers residing in the Chicago area who are overweight but do not have type 2 diabetes.  While this will result in lower premiums for those with type 2 diabetes, it will result in higher fees for those without the disease.

In other words, while preventing insurance companies from discriminating against those with preexisting conditions sounds like a noble idea, it ends up punishing those who have done no wrong.

I am sorry if you have a preexisting medical condition, I truly am, but unless you can conclude that your preexisting condition is my fault, you have absolutely no moral right to punish me for your condition.

Stripped Of Her Rights

April 22, 2009 By: Phred Category: Uncategorized

I hate watching the news on tv, but I happened to catch about 30 seconds of it last night.  The Supreme Court is now hearing a very peculiar case.

The case is over whether a public school has the right to conduct a strip search on one of its students [in this case, a 13 year old girl].  As I watched this story on the news, I asked my self aloud “what possible compelling interest can there be to justify strip searching a 13 year old girl at her school?”

Well, the girl was accused of hiding something very dangerous–a few ibuprofen pills.


The school decided to search the girl–an honor student with no history of being in trouble–because another student was caught with the pills and falsely said that the pills came from this girl.

After searching her belongings, the school subjected her to a strip search, searching her bra and panties.  For a couple of Advil.

The fact that this case has made it all the way to the Supreme Court boggles my mind.  For one, this girl obviously has a right to privacy.  She also has a 4th Amendment right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure.  And she was searched because of suspicion that she had a legal, over the counter drug which has been approved for use in people of her age.

I dont know why the school decided to search this girl at all, especially a strip search, and especially without the permission of her parents… For a couple of Advil.

I hope that the Supreme Court does the right thing and dismisses the case.  And I hope that afterwords, the parents sue the school for a lot of money.

Oh, and by the way–no Advil was found during the search.

Americanly Yours,

Phred Barnet

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