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Critics of health insurance companies argue that companies sometimes drop customers after they become very sick. We’ll see in a post next week (from the inside of the insurance industry) how true that is. Let’s think about this for a minute. It is a “problem” when a company drops a customer that wishes to patronize it. I understand that if a customer purchased a policy under the expectation that they could not be dropped for certain reasons, and then if they were dropped for these very reasons – that constitutes fraud and is punishable in a court of law. Without going too much into the details there, I’d only like you to consider another type of recidivism.

This is recidivism that I WANT to have happen but a “company” is not permitting to have happen. Imagine if you did not wish to purchase Italian Bread from Wegmans, but were forced by gunpoint to do it, week after week after week. They would not be permitted to drop you, even if they poisoned your food, raised the price, insulted you while you were in the checkout line, and caused your car to get smashed up in the parking lot. Each week you still need to get that bread. Would any of us like this sort of a thing? To ask the question is to answer it.

The statists among might argue consistently that in the health care example they are against recidivism, and in the bread case, they are also against me dropping Wegmans as my supplier of bread. But that would be wrong.  In one case they would be saying that suppliers could not refuse customers (broadly speaking) but in the other they would be arguing that customers could not refuse to patronize suppliers. Even if you can justify the case in the former, it does not follow that the second is necessary.

At least when insurance companies drop patients (if they do it) they don’t continue charging them premiums after the coverage is cancelled. The same cannot be said for the guys with the guns. Even if they refuse to provide me bread, or even if I refuse to accept the bread, they still make me pay month after month after month. Who is the real criminal?

One Response to “Recidivism”

  1. Harry says:

    Mike. this is a myth. I’ve never heard of any instance where someone has ever been denied anything. Anything beyond the contract, that is –but few pay for the contract in the first place, unless they happen to be among those who write the check.

    The other evening Dennis Kucinich advanced this argument, that insurance companies are in the business of denying benefits. That is nonsense. I have yet to know anyone who has been denied, including me.

    I’m not saying you are making Dennis’s argument, by the way.

    The real criminal is the guy or girl who robs you and then pays your bills, and then expects you to employ them as your protector.

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