Monday, May 12, 2008

Foolhardy Publicity Stunt

Quite a few people do not have health insurance.

Some cannot qualify for medically underwritten coverage, do not have a job with benefits, and have not taken advantage of plans available in all states for those considered uninsurable.

Others make too much money to qualify for taxpayer subsidized coverage and say they cannot afford coverage.

And quite a few have no health issues, have plenty of disposable income and voluntarily choose to go without coverage.

Steve Kagan is one of those people.

Kagen, a Democrat and an allergist, is the only Congressman to refuse insurance, Scientific American reports this week.

He announced his insurance status to the world last year on the Huffington Post, and this year he introduced a bill that would bar insurers from denying coverage or raising rates because of pre-existing conditions. He’d also require companies to disclose all of their rates.

Apparently Dr. Kagan is not familiar with what happens when insurers are required to cover everyone, regardless of pre-existing health conditions.

Coverage becomes more expensive and less accessible to all, including the healthy.

So he’ll remain without insurance. If he were to get sick, he tells SciAm, “I’d be just like the 47 [million] to 50 million American citizens who don’t have coverage, and I’d have to negotiate with hospitals and doctors for the best-priced coverage.”

Negotiating works . . . as long as you have the money to pay the bills.

One would assume someone with M.D. after their name would have significant assets to pledge toward payment of health care.

For Dr. Kagan's sake, let's hope this foolhardy publicity stunt does not result in a major loss of assets.
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