So I was driving home today at around 5PM in Atlanta and, those of you who have been to Atlanta will know, I was gridlocked in traffic for a good 30 minutes. As I was stuck in traffic, I decided to browse a little reddit and read up on some happenings of the day (bad habit, I know). I then came across this gem:
Please read it.
Go. I’ll wait.
What the actual fuck?
If this isn’t left wing sensationalist news, I do not know what is (I get that this was an “opinion” piece, but it still riles me up as this is the “leading” perspective on what the new Trumpcare bill is about). If you feel like I have already offended your sensibilities at this point, please feel free to stop, but I will implore you to continue and have a discussion with me.
First, having worked in the insurance industry for so long, let me explain to you what insurance is about. Insurance is basically the pooling of money so that if any person in that pool were to experience a significant life event, they would be able to tap into that pool and help themselves get through it. A big piece of that is that the pool needs to have enough money so that after enough events, the pool can still survive and provide for the participants of the pool. As such, there a huge emphasis on the government to protect the solvency of that pool (the insurance companies). Now, here is where the balancing act happens (and why I think actuaries are one of the greatest professions). If you price too cheaply, you will not collect enough money for the pool and run the risk of exhausting the pool from these significant life events. If you price too high, no one will contribute to the pool except the most risky (since they know their contributions will be less than what they take out of the pool) and again, your pool will not be big enough to cover those life events. If you charge everyone an equal price but another pool doesn’t, you run the risk that you soak up all the bad risks because the other pool figured out who is good and bad and gave discounts to the good. All in all, its a fine art to balance prices so that you can persist on providing that pool and providing the financial safeguard to the participants in that pool.
Inherently, as individuals, we have “good” risks and “bad” risks – namely, people who tend to take more out of the pool than put in (“bad”) and people who tend to provide more for the pool than take out (“good”). Uncertainty (thank god for statistics, plug #2) is what binds us together. Now remember, we built this pool so that we can protect people when bad things happen in their lives, so naturally, we would like the pool to be as big as possible – attempt to provide financial safeguard to the most people we can. However, the “bad” risks tend to jeopardize that goal. They tend to use up more of the pool than they put in, so, in many ways, they limit the number of people we can attract to join our pool. So now, I think the next natural step is to ask ourselves – why don’t we limit entry of these “bad” risks in (if we can somehow identify them) or perhaps charge them a much higher rate so that they carry more of their own individual burdens? That way, we can get more “good” and “slightly bad” risks in and overall protect more people.
And now, we are back at the article. Prior to Obamacare, rape and domestic violence were, in many cases, considered pre-existing conditions. Obamacare prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and thus widened the coverage net to more people. However, all of this does not come without a cost. In the pool example above, this means that now all the “bad” risks (perhaps “bad” is too stigmatizing, what I just mean is that the people who tend to use the pool more than they contribute) are allowed to enter the pool and utilize the pool. What does that mean? Well, the good risks were already all in there (mostly) because they were not banned from the pool in the first place, so now, the pool is upside down since we just allowed an influx of habitual drawers of the pool in to draw from the pool. So I guess, that means we all gotta contribute more to the pool. I think this is all fine, as I believe there is a social benefit to having more healthy people (just as there is a social benefit to everyone having auto insurance – so that you don’t get as many hit and run situations), just hard to quantify. However, I do think that there are probably some conditions that are prohibitively expensive to cover in the pool and that we need to tread lightly and think hard about whether or not that is something the pool will cover. And this, is why I think this article is of the utmost stupidity.
In an effort to get people to sympathize, she basically proves that rape is prohibitively expensive and taxes the other participants greatly. To me, when reading this article, she is basically saying “rape is expensive, i was a victim, it was not my fault, and therefore you all should pay to cover me for any medical expenses, please don’t take that away from me.” Rape is horrendous, no doubt, but this is an asinine argument to shift blame from a failing judicial system onto the financials of a healthcare system. While I agree that she is the victim of a horrible deed and should not bear the brunt of that event, I also believe that the people who are putting money in to cover medical expenses due to disease and other mishaps (perhaps less egregious) should not either! In fact – the fight is with the judicial system in punishing the rapists much more heavily into payments that cover these expenses! Rape is one of those things in which you tend to actually have a responsible party (e.g. cancer is not) – why the hell are you promoting an American institution to lighten the load of that responsible party to spread that out to people seeking healthcare due to fortuitous events?! In fact, wouldn’t this alleviate the pressure in forcing the judicial system into taking just action when it comes to rape? You’re basically creating an excuse to potentially have the rapist pay less for their crimes!
And herein lies the issues I have with the left-wing media. From the way this article was written and from all the news that came out regarding Trumpcare and rape, the left-wing media is trying to sensationalize the public in getting Trumpcare reversed. For all of the people who got angry at the passing of Trumpcare – how many of them ACTUALLY know the tenets of the bill? How many actually care? Are we all going to just stick by partisan lines and vote against Republican laws? Isn’t that what the Republicans did during the Obama administration?
I know we constantly complain about the “bible belt” and the religious silo driving a big portion of the Republican votes. However, it is evident from this election, we suffer from the religious silo of “bleeding heart” liberalism and sympathy socialism. We tend to make quick snap judgments when we hear the things like “rape” or “abortion” or “tax cuts for the rich” or “the aclu hates this.” We don’t actually research deep enough to figure out if the policy actually makes sense. Why should the rich carry a much heavier burden on healthcare when they tend to be more healthy? The decrease in the corporate tax could help small companies avoid the heavy double taxation (35% on the company side and then ANOTHER 35% on the personal side once they take it out as salary) as well as the large corporations – are we sure that will not spur growth of the smaller corporations? Why shouldn’t we be more careful with our country’s money and service funding by cutting funding or altering coverage to certain social services with a lot of fat? Have we not learned from government plans like Social Security and NFIP in terms of how inadequately that was funded and how much that is costing our nation? I get it, we all want to be good people, but socialism IS NOT THE ANSWER (I’m looking at you, Bernie). Perhaps if we actually take the time to think and analyze when presented an issue (instead of just sticking to our partisan guns), we can come together and find the answer. Until then, all we have to go on to heal this nation is exactly what we had a year ago:
Crooked Hillary vs Racist Trump.