Monday, November 16, 2009

Health Care Poll

The Associated Press polled Americans on health care. Eighty-two percent are in favor of a ban on insurance companies discriminating against those in poor health. However, when told that this ban would cause most to pay more for health insurance, 31 per cent of Americans are now against it and only 43 percent support it.

The questions should have been Would you support a ban on insurance companies not insuring those with pre-existing conditions who had an opportunity to buy health insurance, could afford same, but chose not to do so?

Would you support an insurance company not insuring someone with a pre-existing condition who lost their insurance through no fault of their own (e. g. got laid off)?

A bureaucracy might not be able to distinguish between the two but a sortition jury could have. It is also the premise of my alternative to a public insurance plan, a sortition plan. That is, there is no public "insurance" but there is a public "pool" of money to which both the person covered and the public (as part of general taxes) would pay for. When an individual got sick, they would petition for approval to have the public pool pay for this. A sortition jury would look at both the illness and treatment involved. It would also look at how much the person contributed to the public pool and their income in comparison to the contributions made. Thus, the eighty dollars that the proverbial washer-women contributed might have more weight than the eight hundred dollars that the YUPPIE contributed.

Sixty-seven percent agreed that everyone should have "at least some health insurance" with only 27 percent opposition. However, sixty-four percent are opposed to a tax penalty for not having insurance. And even half of Democrats oppose fines to enforce the requirement to get insurance.

I proposed a broader requirement of financial responsibility and this, obviously ambiguous one, be interpreted by sortition juries.

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