Thursday, August 06, 2009

Impossible Promises - John Stossel on Obamacare

John Stossel has an article about Obama's healthcare plan posted at Reason Online. It's right on target. This point on the difference between insurance and welfare is about as succinct an explanation as I've seen about why insurance companies don't cover pre-existing conditions:

The New York Times describes a key part of the House bill: "Lawmakers of both parties agree on the need to rein in private insurance companies by banning underwriting practices that have prevented millions of Americans from obtaining affordable insurance. Insurers would, for example, have to accept all applicants and could not charge higher premiums because of a person's medical history or current illness.

"No more evil "cherry-picking." No more "discrimination against the sick. But that's not insurance. Insurance is the pooling of resources to cover the cost of a possible but by no means certain misfortune befalling a given individual. Government-subsidized coverage for people already sick is welfare. We can debate whether this is good, but let's discuss it honestly. Calling welfare "insurance" muddies thinking.

Read the whole thing.
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