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Walter E. Williams
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Modern Day Lunacy

Comment

Sen. John Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, and Rep. Joe Courtney D-Conn., a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, have introduced the Pre-existing Condition Patient Protection Act, which would eliminate pre-existing condition exclusions in all insurance markets. That's an Obama administration priority. I wonder whether President Obama and his congressional supporters would go a step further and protect not just patients but everyone against pre-existing condition exclusions by insurance companies. Let's look at the benefits of such a law.

A person might save quite a bit of money on fire insurance. He could wait until his home is ablaze and then walk into Nationwide and say, "Sell me a fire insurance policy so I can have my house repaired." The Nationwide salesman says, "That's lunacy!" But the person replies, "Congress says you cannot deny me insurance because of a pre-existing condition." This mandate against insurance company discrimination would not only apply to home insurance but auto insurance and life insurance as well. Instead of a wife wasting money on costly life insurance premiums, she could spend that money on jewelry, cosmetics and massages and then wait until her husband kicked the bucket to buy life insurance on him.

Insurance companies don't stay in business and prosper by being stupid. If Congress were to enact a law eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions, what might be expected? Say I'm a salesman for Nationwide and you demand that I write you an insurance policy for your house that has already gone up in flames. I send an appraiser out to your house to get an estimate how much money it would take to make you whole. Let's say it comes to $400,000. Guess how much I'm going to charge you for the policy? If you said somewhere in the neighborhood of $400,000, you'd be pretty close to the right answer.

You might say, "Williams, you're right. Forcing fire and auto insurance companies to sell policies for a pre-existing fire or auto accident is bizarre and stupid, but it's different with health insurance." Yes, health insurance is different from fire and auto insurance but the insurance principle remains the same.

If Congress and the president are successful in making the Pre-existing Condition Patient Protection Act the law of the land, their treachery won't stop there. Insurance companies will attempt to charge people with pre-existing health conditions a higher price to compensate for their higher expected cost. Those people will complain to Congress. Then Congress will enact insurance premium price controls. Insurance companies might try to restrict just what treatments they will cover under such restrictions. That means Congress will play a greater role in managing what insurance companies can and cannot do.

The dilemma Congress always faces, when it messes with the economy, was aptly described in a Negro spiritual play by Marcus Cook Connelly titled "Green Pastures." In it, God laments to the angel Gabriel, "Every time Ah passes a miracle, Ah has to pass fo' or five mo' to ketch up wid it," adding, "Even bein God ain't no bed of roses." When Congress creates a miracle for one American, it creates a non-miracle for another. After that, Congress has to create a compensatory miracle. Many years ago, I used to testify before Congress, something I refuse to do now. At several of the hearings, I urged Congress to get out of the miracle business and leave miracle making up to God.

For a president and congressman to shamelessly propose something like the Pre-existing Condition Patient Protection Act demonstrates just how far we've gone down the road to perdition. The most tragic thing is that most Americans have no idea that such an act violates every principle of insurance and it's something that not even yesteryear's lunatics would have thought up.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS.COM



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1 Comments | Post Comment
Dear Walter Willilams, Excellent Article. Your readers might be interested in the following articles.

Kay Hagan (you know, the new US Senator from Greensboro that's going along
with all the 'legislation' so she, too, can get that high dollar salary and retirement), said
and I QUOTE "I'd say that Harry Reid knows how to
get 60 votes, and that was very important to our country in order to move
forward with thhat legislation." "Bribing" the blood-sucking ticks (has
been done too many times) is nothing to be proud of, Ms. Hagan! Corruption
and greed is what most politicians are all about. Ms. Hagan, politicians
have accomplished absolutely nothing in several decades! Politicians have
bankrupted America, sold Americans jobs to foreign countries, for their
own best interests, borrowed trillions, without Taxpayers consent, and you
have the audacity to state this 'healthcare disaster is very important to
our country!' Taxpayers would like to know "when have you read the fine
print in anything that benefited Americans?" "Did you bother to save the
textile and manufacturing companies?" "Do you know that until textile and
manufacturing jobs are returned to America that America is doomed, and
there's absolutely no need for infrastructures, bigger government, as
there will be no one to pay Taxes, including your high-dollar salary,
retirements, and freebies?"
You see, Ms. Hagan, you're just like the rest of the 'blood-sucking ticks'
and it's obvious you'll go along with any 'DEAL MAKING PROGRAMS' the
corrupt and greedy politicians like Reid, Pelosi, Rangel, Frank, Dodd,
just to name a few, have lingered over for several decades, for job
security, and to hell with the honest, hard-working American!
Ms. Hagan, bribery is a crime and you and your politician buddies might
think you're above the law, but your time is coming and, hopefully, real
soon as America can't afford anymore ‘disastrous legislation that been around the table,
repreatedly, for several decades!'
For the people who don't know what's happening to America and that one
trillion has 12 Zeros, and "a zillion is undetermined, because it is
huge", and this 'healthcare reform' that's gone on for years - job security
for politicians, bankruptcy for Taxpayers - should concern everyone!
Politicians got raises and bonuses! Taxpayers received no raise, insurance
premiums were raised! Politicians get the best of healthcare, drugs, and
insurance. Taxpayers get the leftovers; including higher insurance
premiums and even higher co-pays for their GENERIC drugs.

If you're concerned about your children and grandchilden, you need to watch Newt
Gingrich's video. He gets paid to tell a story - the one above, and below, by me is 'FREE'!

==========================================================
Newt Gingrich is 'on target' with what he's saying.
WHAT TAXPAYERS ARE SAYING 'IT'S TIME TO TAKE AMERICA BACK, GET RID F ALL
POLITICIANS BY PUTTING THEM ON A SLOW BOAT TO GITMO, TAKE ALL HEIR ASSETS
TO PAY OFF THE TRILLIONS THEY'VE BORROWED WITHOUT TAXPAYRS CONSENT,
AND
WE MUST 'NOT' FORGET TO SEND ALONG THE LOCAL, STATE, FEDERAL PRISONERS,
SOCIAL AND WELFARE RECIPIENTS!
IT'S TIME TO TIGHTEN THE BELTS AND PULL UP THE BOOT STRAPS AND GO 'KICK >
BUTT' - REMOVE ALL 'BLOOD-SUCKING TICKS' FROM THEIR OFFICES, TAKE EYS,
CARS, AND ANYTHING THEY POSSESS, AS THESE GREEDY AND CORRUPT SLOBS
HAVE
DESTROYED AMERICA AND SOLD TAXPAYERS OUT FOR THE HIGHEST DOLLAR FOR
THEIR
RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS, WHICH, INCIDENTALLY, TAXPAYERS NEED TO MAKE SURE
WHERE ALL THEIR FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS ARE, SO THIS MONEY CAN BE USED
TO
PAY OFF THE TRILLIONS, WHICH IS GOING TO BE NEEDED TO BUILD AMERICA BACK,
NOT THE FOREIGN COUNTRIES! AFTER 9/11 - DID FOREIGNERS BUILD AMERICA
BACK?
I DON'T THINK SO!
POLITICIANS HAVE COMMITTED 'TREASON' ON THE AMERICA TAXPAYERS - THEY'VE
SOLD OUT AMERICA AND THIS, TO HONEST-HARD-WORKING TAXPAYERS, THEY MUST
PAY
BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!
BY THE WAY, NO MORE LOBBYISTS, DRUG AND INSURANCE COMPANIES, ACLU,
ATTORNEYS, GIVING MONEY TO ANY POLITICIAN, AS TAXPAYERS ARE FED UP WITH
PAYING FOR ALL THE POLITICIANS 'FREEBIES' AND 'HOLLYWOOOD PARTIES',
'EXTRAVAGANT AND PLUSH LIFESTYLES', THAT'S COST TAXPAYERS THEIR JOBS
AND THEIR SECURITY! DOES THIS SEEM 'FAIR AND JUST TO ANYONE?' I DON'T KNOW
ABOUT YOU, BUT I WANT MY MONEY BACK, SINCE WE'VE BEEN OVERCHARGED FOR
INSURANCE AND DRUGS JUST TO PAY FOR THE POLITICIANS AND THEIR
LIFESTYLES!
Newt Gingrich gets paid to tell a story - the one above, by me is 'FREE'!

==========================================================
You have got to listen to this short speech by Newt Gingrich!!
Notice that no mention of political parties is made. Like him or not he tells it like it is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=qtjfMjjce2Y
Comment: #1
Posted by: Shirley deLong
Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:43 AM
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