There’s a dirty little secret about this though…
“Well, if they’re 45 years old, and they show up, and they say, I want insurance, because I’ve got a heart disease, it’s like, `Hey guys, we can’t play the game like that. You’ve got to get insurance when you’re well, and if you get ill, then you’re going to be covered,’” Romney replied.
The secret? Mitt’s 100% right.
The problem isn’t that insurance companies are cruel in denying care, the problem is that privatized insurance relies upon as few payouts as possible. Because it’s opt-in, the only way for the business to stay afloat is for the average customer to pay more than they need over time, and if clients can show up, having put zero dollars in, and need a $50,000 operation, it means the rest of them need to pay in at least that much just to avoid losing money.
If insurance companies were forced to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, then that begs the question: who in their right mind would pay for insurance if they aren’t sick? If you could call up Blue Cross or Aetna and say “hey guys I just got leukemia, pay for my treatment” and the law forced them to, every sane person would simply go uninsured until they needed it, then dump the plan after they got better. It would no longer be “insurance”, it would become “discount health care”. No one would ever have insurance for 15 years “just in case” if they could wait until disaster and then get full coverage.
Mitt’s comment exposes a situation that few want to really tackle: insurance companies aren’t the disease, they’re merely a symptom of the disease, which is privatized health care.
That’s why public programs work so well for the police, the military, and infrastructure. Taxes are mandatory, so everyone need only chip in a little bit for everyone’s benefit. I may not drive on a given road or ever need the police to save my ass, but since I have a couple bucks taken out of my pocket for it, everyone can feel safe knowing those things are covered. Imagine private infrastructure where roads were fixed only through donations, or you had to buy a “subscription” to them.
Mitt isn’t wrong, and I hope his comment makes people look not at “cruel CEOs”, but the very notion of leaving medical care up to private enterprise.