There are many ways to avoid risk. Not doing potentially dangerous activities and avoiding dangerous areas are how we avoid everyday risk. Another way of avoiding risk is to give that risk to a second party. Managing risks requires an understanding of how they will impact to you or your finances by doing nothing. Typically individuals use insurance to avoid financial risks. These individuals feel safe and secure in their homes because of insurance. There are many threats to homes: fire natural disaster, broken water pipes, etc. Individuals and families are financially protected from these risks and many other by homeowners insurance.
For consumers, homeowners insurance has become a commodity that can be fairly purchased because certain protections have been put in place. These protections include:
• Simple and easy to understand terminology
• Common definitions for terms and conditions
• A competitive marketplace with multiple providers
• Fairly distributed risk throughout the insurance marketplace
• Minimum levels of protection
• Insurance (risk avoidance) is proportional to costs
These protections were developed over years by the insurance industry, state and federal insurance commissions, financial institutions and consumer protection groups.
Everyone is proud of America’s health care industry. Our system develops new drugs to treat illnesses, has some of the world’s best hospitals, physicians and schools, and the best treatments in the world for those who can afford it or have insurance. We all look the other way when hearing about friends and neighbors losing their health benefits because of a sick child, not being able to get insurance because of a pre-existing condition or the mediocre ranking of American health care when compared to other countries. An example of this is the US has one of the highest infant mortality rates of any industrialized nation.
Like it or not, The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is the ONLY solution on the table to create a health insurance system similar to auto, life and home insurance. The Affordable Care Act is the ONLY solution on the table that will correct the problems associated with self insured and low income individuals and families obtaining health insurance. Will the Affordable Care Act make the American health care delivery system different? Oh yeah! Over my life span, which is starting to seem like a long time, I have seen many social safety nets launched. Some would be deemed successful and other not so successful. But the bottom-line is they either do what they are designed to do or they are modified.
The critics to ObamaCare spout out vague, contradictory and heartfelt reasons why it will not work. But these emotional voices are low on facts, high on emotion, never compare outcomes to available data or provide solutions. Once ObamaCare was signed into law it became a living thing. Like any infant it needs to crawl, walk, and be taught how to benefit Americans. Even the Constitution of the United States has mechanisms to change it when needed.
Some think this infant will grow up and destroy America’s fiscal health. These same people are doing a better job than ObamaCare in performing that task.
In summary, when Social Security and Medicare are discussed, politicians provide solutions to problems they have identified and performed benefit/harm analysis. These same politicians have proclaimed the horrors of the Affordable Care Act and it has not been fully implemented. In all of the industrialized countries with national health care systems none of them have blamed their current or future economic condition on health care. The Affordable Care Act is the Law of the land so let’s treat it like any new law:
• Implement the Law.
• Monitor the Law
• Improve the Law
In the end America will have a healthier and more productive workforce.