Friday, March 26, 2010

Ask Your Representative What 'Insurance' Means

As you representative returns home, they will try to justify their health care vote to protect against the coming backlash. You should ask them a simple question, "what does 'Insurance' mean?" This stems from the part of the bill forcing insurance companies to provide coverage for preexisting conditions.

The definition is not the place they are supposed to get tripped up, so you can help them if they look like they are struggling with confusion or trying to wiggle out of answering. The definition is not the 'trap', the trap is calling them out on using Orwellian language to push through the bill (twice); with something I tried to point out months ago made zero sense; that is forcing companies to cover preexisting condition.

Here is my logic/trap:
1) Insurance is small payments (or premiums) in return for a promise that in the event of a specific event the company will give you a large sum. The small sums are a fee for the company to take on your risk.
2) Welfare is aid money, or that large sum, without the small payments because you need it and someone believes you should get it.
3) Which one of those (insurance or welfare) is forcing a company to cover preexisting conditions more like?

I think it is clear that coverage for preexisting conditions is welfare and not insurance. If you believe that we should provide for the sick without any health insurance that is fine, but make that argument. Do not use Orwellian doublespeak to try to convince people what you are pushing is something different then what it actually is.

You can approach pitching this to your representative in a number of different ways. You can ask them to define both one at a time and then ask the question of which one it is more like. You could define them both yourself and then ask which is closer to forcing a company to cover preexisting conditions. You could just come out and say that you think it is more like welfare and ask them to tell you why you are wrong. There are only two 'musts'; be respectful and video tape the exchange. Once uploaded, comment with a link or email me with it.


  1. "Orwellian double speak" hahaha, that's rich stuff.

    Your definition of welfare is so broad, you could argue anything is welfare like that. Yet the bill largely is welfare to insurance companies, instead of what the public wants which is the ability to purchase insurance from the government.

    I think Your the guy playing semantical games

  2. Stephen Parrish3/27/2010 7:42 AM

    The analogy you are looking for is home insurance. You pay a monthly premium and collect in the event of large or total losses to the property.

    If I could sign up for insurance without recognition of pre-existing conditions (my house burned to the ground last night), I would make 1 premium payment and then tell the insurance company that the home was a total loss. I'd pay $600 and collect $300,000.

    You couldn't do that for very long and only pay $600. Congress gets around that by requiring everybody to be paying for home insurance (if I may continue my analogy) even if they are only renting or are living with their parents or living in a trailer.

  3. "...public wants which is the ability to purchase insurance from the government" Really, Einstein? Maybe on your unicorn ranch alongside the chocolate river under marmalade skies. Perhaps you should cite a source or even one poll that says the public wants to purchase insurance from your nanny, the government.


    theres three, for three different kinds of gov't insurance: public option, medicare and single payer.

    Educate yourself, Jackass

  5. since the 1960s the public has favored some type of nationalized health insurance, for about ahndred years its been a pretty common right wing ting- whenever hte government is doing something to serve itself or the interets who control it , its good- when its trying o do soemthing to improve the lives of everyone else its evil- stop serving power.

  6. “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
    ~James Madison

  7. Because James Madison was trying to run an advanced-industrial economy?....

    I don't know what relevance that has here for actual public policy-Which besides being the morally right thing to do, is also good business for the country

  8. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - the bill is not welfare to insurance company; it will actually cost them money forcing them to treat people who never had a policy with them before.

    @Stephen Parrish - that is exactly what I was talking about a few months back (

  9. I still don't get it. We trying to insure about 30 million who don't have it. They all have health care -- just not health insurance and the preventative care that comes with it. About 20 million don't want it. So, we're doing all this for about 3% of the population, about 10 million. We could just cover them all under Medicare and be done with it and for a whole lot less than 1-2 trillion dollars. This is just obvious. So, what is the real reason we're doing this. Also obvious. Socialism. The current crop of pogressive socialists (nearly all congressional Democrats today) are taking control of a much as they can. It't not about health care. I happen to believe a significant amount of socialism might be fine as long as we have the funds to give a helping hand (not a no strings handout). But guys, our country is $13 trillion in debt. The focus of our Government should be on making Americans wealthier, incouraging the growth of business, reducing the costs of energy, stop sending our wealth offshore. If we were a rich nation, not one crippled in debt, then there would be far fewer people needing a helping hand and we'd have the funding needed to help them. We need to make the US the country of choice for business growth and prosperity--heep our wealth here. You'll realize just how screwed up our Government is, that includes both parties, when you get close to retirement and find that social security is bankrupt, which it actually is today because our Government spent all of the excess collections that were supposed to be in the trust fund. As of today Social Security will be paying out more than it collects and there are no funds in the trust fund to cover these costs---thanks to the idiots we have put in power over the years. They've spent all of our retirement funds and created a massive debt that cannot be paid. WE HAVE TO STOP SPENDING WHAT WE DON'T HAVE.

  10. Not true, they are going to have a windfall. Your buying their line again, its as if your some kind of Blue Shield PR rep. If you actually want to know what you are talking about go here:

    And even if they were being cost money, why would you take it upon yourself personally to defend institutions like private health insurance companies- when their are actual individuals who need help now- I think that's called statism.

  11. And insurance companies are going to blame the rate increases, while their profits grow, on doctors and hospital groups.- who spend alot less on lobbying....

    @ anonymous
    It really isn't as complicated as your making it out to be. If your worried about all those things, as am I, we should just adopt a single payer system.

    except people vote in politicians like republicans and corporate funded democrats who represent insurance company interests- over the public interest.

    If they did what the public actually wants, and unload a massive cost burden on business, and put us on a structural path out of our debt. We could just open Medicare. Even with our trillion dollar military adventures, a risk pool of 300 million people running at a 4percent over head (the insurance companies we subsidize do 30) would be solvent for generations. The fact people are still argueing about something that has been commonsensical for the last 50 years had only served the interests of private health insurers


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