Contemplating Health Care Reform

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Private Health Insurance discussed on Cafe Hayek Blog

An interesting discussion of private insurance was sparked by a Cafe Hayek reader, Tom. Professor Russ Roberts, Co-owner of the Cafe Hayek blog asked readers of his blog to answer Tom's concerns:

Tom Writes:

Imagine we had entirely private health insurance market – no Medicare or Medicaid. If I live to be sixty-five, I will probably have a personal and/or family history that indicates a strong probability of developing an expensive chronic condition. I would wager that is true of almost all sixty-five year olds.

So here is my question: which insurer in their right mind would take on my risk?

I suspect none. Once philanthropy and savings were exhausted, I would surely risk a painful life and preventable death.

Do I want this? Does anyone? Isn’t “socialized” medicine for older people an unpleasant moral necessity for our wealthy society? Please note I am deeply suspicious of most arguments cast in moral terms in discussions of politics and economics. I ask these questions guardedly.

The comment section for this post is long and well worth reading.

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