- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Love him or not, I have to give it to President Obama, who has artfully shifted the health care debate to insurability from access and affordability — which his legislation on health care also is not about.

Risk assessment and coverage are a major concern in providing insurance coverage to everyone or in mitigating against financial losses in most situations. With health care eliminating increased costs based on risk, controlling access and costs is much trickier than is appreciated by John Q. Public — or legislators.

If people continue to engage in slovenly behavior such as smoking, failing to exercise, eating excessively and other acts within their control, why should policyholders — that is, taxpayers — pay extra for their risks?

If people are born with expensive genetic impairments or injured in accidents that require medical coverage, who should pick up the tab? What of those with terminal illnesses or those using experimental therapies?

If people have children with transmittable, costly genetic conditions and continue to have additional children subject to the same findings, is this fair, and should society have to willingly assume these costs? Or what about those who continue to have babies with no means to care for them? Is this also society’s cost to bear?

If people have dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease or become disabled to the point that they can’t take care of themselves but can live forever in nursing facilities, will we pay for this when they are no longer able to do so? Will all mental illnesses and infirmities now be covered?

Welcome to the Obama Health Emporium World Proposal for eliminating risk-based considerations in health care, which is going to force the government to pay for everything for everyone.

It is unlikely that health insurance companies are going to do this, and without jobs and more of their own money to take home, citizens will find themselves increasingly unable to provide this for themselves — i.e., broke.

If Congress passes the health “reform” bill, universal health care is a done deal. If you believe there are enough taxpayers earning more than $200,000 to cover these costs, you are crazy. If you believe that health care is not going to cost you more and raise your taxes or that limitations are not going to be put on care received, you are out of your mind, especially given our $12 trillion national debt.

Congress must be subjected to the same rules it is proposing for citizens.

When Hurricane Katrina wiped out Louisiana’s 9th Ward, why were we willing to allow government funding to rebuild there in flood plains likely to experience the same again? Or why are insurance companies selling coverage for coastal properties hit more than twice by oncoming waves?

Why are people allowed to drive with inadequate insurance coverage for personal injury, which requires taxpayers to absorb associated health costs? Why are people allowed to sue with recovery for acts of God when insurance companies fail to pay, appreciating that they sold policies that they couldnt cover and stay solvent? And why are health insurance companies making millions in profits while individual premium costs continue to rise?

The government now owns housing, thanks to the mortgage crisis. It helped put Chrysler and General Motors out of business, becoming an auto-industry investor. Now it is going to own your health care.

Welcome to the American version of socialism, without direct input from the American people other than their tax dollars.

Dr. Ada M. Fisher is a physician, educator and a Republican National Committee member from North Carolina.

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