fatmanatee presents this scenario:
So why have insurance anyway? Other investment vehicles provide similar services, only their value is dollars, rather than services used. A person without healthcare can simply invest their money and take out for medical payments as they feel necessary.
Obviously, this would all require a lot more diligent personal investment from everybody, and perhaps that’s a lot to ask for.
That’s too much to ask for. If people were good at financial management and self-control, the massive credit card, payroll advance, and debt consolidation industries wouldn’t exist.
Social Security is a system designed with the same intention as insurance: to protect unfortunate people from the unforeseen, the unlikely, and themselves.
Without insurance, we’d have some problems in addition to financial irresponsibility:
- Young people aren’t likely to have accumulated significant savings, so they could never afford expensive procedures. For example, many people get their appendix removed while relatively young. How many people in their early 20s have $15,000 to spare?
- It’s harder to provide healthcare for others if you can’t offer it for a flat monthly rate. If an employer wanted to offer healthcare to employees (and there are many good reasons to), it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to assume the full bills for an employee that they only intend to retain for a few years, and they wouldn’t be able to predict their own financials.
- When people are paying per action, instead of a flat-rate plan that insurance (mostly) offers, they’re less likely to get non-emergency or preventative care. How many people would go in for regular physicals, mammograms, etc. if they had to pay $300 each time? Worse yet, how many would ignore less severe symptoms of potentially major problems for months or years because they assume it’s “probably nothing” and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars going to doctors and specialists for a proper diagnosis?
…and probably many more that I’m not thinking of.