Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mulshine Scores Against NJ's Power-Lusters

In a column in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Paul Mulshine takes to task New Jersey's latest socialist scheme...a plan to force people to buy health insurance by requiring everyone "to provide proof of health insurance at tax time. If you don't have insurance, the state will sign you up and start charging you for it."

Brazen power-lust is on the march in Trenton, complete with the employment of the “big lie” tactic. This mandatory health insurance scheme is being put over on us based on a false, I would call it fraudulent, premise.

David Knowlton callously declares that the individual rights of the young are to be trampled “so we can get those young, healthy lives…” And getting them is exactly what these dictators intend!

"But then they're being forced to subsidize people who have greater demand than they have," Mr. Mulshine replies. I can almost feel his incredulity!

"That's right," Knowlton replied. "That's how insurance works."

No, Mr. Knowlton, that is not how it works. Buying insurance is like buying any other product or service. I am talking here about the voluntary purchase of private insurance, not the government-run fiascoes masquerading as “insurance”. You pay money in exchange for a particular value that you deem to serve your best interests. When you buy a television set, you aren’t subsidizing the manufacture of someone else’s TV. You exchanged…traded…the money you earned for a TV. End of transaction. The money the TV manufacturer received from you is now the money it earned, to be used in a manner consistent with the nature of its business.

Likewise, when you buy insurance, you pay money in exchange for a particular value you deem to be in your best interest. In this case, you are purchasing protection, for a specified period of time, from some unforeseen catastrophic loss. You are not subsidizing someone else’s loss. When I pay the yearly premium on my $2 million umbrella policy, I am paying for just that…$2 million of liability protection. I exchanged…traded…the money I earned for a product--- catastrophic loss protection. End of transaction. The money received by the insurance company, like that of the TV manufacturer, is not mine. It is their earnings from the sale of the insurance product I purchased, to be used in a manner consistent with the nature of its business.

What Trenton is peddling is legalized theft (income redistribution) masquerading as “insurance”. It’s a widespread practice across the country, with over 1900 legal mandates requiring coverage for this or that ailment. What all of these mandates have in common with NJ’s compulsory insurance proposal is that they all force people to subsidize the health expenses of others, by forcing them to buy coverage they would not have purchased otherwise. This is income redistribution, not insurance, with superficially private insurance companies used as the conduit for government coercion (there is a name for this practice. It is called Fascism). Not only should the current scheme be opposed, as Mr. Mulshine says, but all of these government-imposed coverage mandates should be abolished. They are immoral because they violate individual rights. As Mr. Mulshine unequivocally states, “[M]andatory insurance should be unthinkable in a free country.”


Anonymous said...

i understand your argument but it's not very well thought out.
if someone shows up to an ER, the ER is REQUIRED by the FEDERAL government to care for them whether or not they have insurance. that means that the hospital has to bill the STATE government for that care. that bill is paid with OUR tax dollars. care to the uninsured is funded by the rest of us when some one "elects" to not purchase private insurance. not to mention that whatever the state doesn't pay back to the hospitals for the care to the unsinsured, the hospitls then have to make up for by charging insurance companies more and driving up the premiums of health insurance for all of us who "elect" to do the right thing now and insure ourselves.
if everyone has insurance (especially those who can afford it), the cost of health care drops by a ton. it makes sense to require health insurance.

principled perspectives said...

b.m. This post was not intended to be a comprehensive critique of our health insurance system. But since you mention it, the Federal ER law you referenced (EMTALA) is a prime example of how government controls breed more controls which breed more controls until our freedom is gone. Repeal EMTALA, and those who elect not to “do the right thing”, as you put it, would not be able to saddle the rest of us with their ER bills. Rather than mandate it, we should eliminate the rational for mandatory insurance. (For a detailed discussion on the entire healthcare crises, click here.)

But the broader point you miss is the violation of individual rights that mandatory insurance involves, which was the real issue here. Or maybe you chose to ignore it as being of little or no consequence, as many Americans do. This is a grave danger to our republic, which was founded upon the principle of inalienable rights. The flippant and cavalier way that you and growing numbers of Americans can accept governmental coercion (“it makes sense to require health insurance”) as a legitimate means of dealing with fellow citizens is handing the state enormous powers. If not reversed, this trend can only lead to dictatorship. As Ben Franklin famously said, we have “a republic, if you can keep it”.