Sunday, January 28, 2007

Let me rephrase that....

The writer of this letter in the Indianapolis Star has the same annoying habit that many advocates of government controlled healthcare have. He uses the terms "lack of health insurance" and "lack of healthcare" interchangebly. One of the candidates for state representative in my area did this quite often in the last campaign. He would note that 850,000 Hoosiers were without health insurance, and in the same speech claim that 850,000 Hoosiers were without healthcare.

It's not the same thing. I am basically without health insurance, save a major medical policy with a ridiculously high deductible. It's affordable, even for a 55 year old, and we keep it to prevent us from losing our home and savings in the event of a catastrophic illness.

I'm not, however, without healthcare. I see a doctor when necessary, and pay as I go. It's still a lot cheaper than the $1500.00 a month some of my friends pay for their policies. Admittedly, I don't go to the doctor everytime I sneeze, and I also believe that most people could cut down on their trips to the doctor if those trips weren't paid for by someone else.

The late, great libertarian, Harry Browne, had an excellent analogy on the subject. He pointed out that when we buy car insurance, we don't expect the insurance company to provide gas, oil, tires and maintenance for our car. But we have come to expect our health insurance company buy our medicine, provide us with eyeglasses, and even staple up part of our stomach if we don't feel like putting forth the effort to diet.

No doubt, healthcare is expensive, but we can do a lot better of controlling those costs with a little self-discipline of our own, instead of waiting for the government to create or expand another costly and invasive program.

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