Sunday, February 19, 2012

Facebook, Insurance, and the Federal Government

I made a statement about personal religious freedom on my Facebook page, which was then hijacked by people who wanted to complain about everything from the new health care law, to homeland security, to heroine addicts in Afghanistan.  All of which is fine with me, to a point. I do get irritated when people who I am "friends" with on Facebook never post anything on my page, until they find they want to tell me I am wrong about what I believe. This has happened twice recently and the time may be coming soon that I limit my Facebook friends list to people who are truly friends and to my family.We shall see about that.

Not to say that I haven't enjoyed the fact that my own thoughts have been sharpened by the um....discourse. However, my thoughts are more complicated than what can be expressed in a FB post, and I do not want my thoughts to be lost at the bottom of that thread.

(1) Health insurance is not a handout. It is a service I pay for. I pay for it out of pocket in my monthly premiums. I pay for it by my hard work, for which my employer in part, compensates me by paying part of the premiums, instead of giving me the money in cash. So anyone who things insurance is a handout, well...perhaps they don't quite understand how it works.

(2) Insurance isn't exactly like other services. I can't as easily switch insurance companies because I am unhappy with their service as I can change grocery stores or gas stations. My company has open enrollment only once a year and someone else in the company makes the decision of who our insurance provider is going to be. That person takes into account a lot of different aspects in making that choice. I for one am glad I am not in that position. Also, I don't know that if I opted out of the company provided health insurance, if they would give me the money they spend on my premiums in cash. I have never asked. But I am going to assume that they don't. If so, why should I give up part of my compensation for my work just because a company isn't providing good service. Writing this up actually makes me feel a little powerless.

 (3) I understand that access to cheap, affordable health care is not a constitutional right. Some, like me, believe it is a human right. Others do not. Regardless if you thing people have the right to affordable health care or not, providing affordable health care is the right thing to do.

(4) Preventative health care is smart health care. It prevents more expensive procedures and medicines from having to be covered. A health care plan that provides no-cost preventative care will save everyone money in the long run. Birth control is preventative care, just like exercise or taking a daily dose of aspirin to prevent heart attacks.

(5) If an insurance company or any company for that matter, isn't providing a good service to its customers or is abusing it's employees, I feel that it is the role of the federal government to protect the people from corporate abuse. There are many examples throughout history of Big business taking advantage of people because the people were powerless to do anything about it. Child labor laws? Yes these laws may make the corporation have to spend more money, but that doesn't make them wrong. Money is not the end all be all. Oh and I can change the government, at least ideally, but I cannot make changes to a corporation that is abusing it's power. I believe that there is a role of government to protect people from corporations.