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In response to several of your comments: 1. You certainly make assumptions that are not substantiated by facts. Your biases obviously cloud your perception of the world around you. For example, you said, "Why, by the time COBRA had expired, had you not found another job?" How did you conclude that I was unemployed? That is inaccurate, but consistent with your other comment, "So will you feel better if I say, "...lazy, inept, and mixed up on their financial priorities?" It appears that you believe that all the uninsured are lazy and irresponsible. That's hardly the case. For example, my wife and I each have advanced degrees and have been employed for our entire adult lives. 2. You said, "Pay for your own healthcare. It's not my responsibility." Webster defines insurance as a "contract by which one party agrees to guarantee or indemnify another against loss by a specified contingent event or peril." It is a shared risk concept. If you'd prefer not to participate, then don't. However, it's not a one-way street. Don't expect the rest of us to protect you if you aren't willing to reciprocate. Furthermore, 40% of Americans do not have employer-paid health insurance. Why are they required to subsidize your insurance premiums via the tax code? Since employee insurance premiums are a form of income that is not taxed, 40% of Americans (many of whom are poor) are subsidizing the other 60% (many of whom are financially well off). 3. You said, "You cannot expect insurance companies to accept pre-existing conditions that guarantee an endless stream of red ink somewhere in the future." In reality, they do already. Most folks participate in GROUP plans that accept those with pre-existing conditions. It's already priced into those plans. The Congressional Republicans support this concept of portability. Even the Chamber of Commerce has endorsed it. "... the Chamber supports some of the proposals currently before Congress, such as ...guaranteed coverage without regard to preexisting conditions,..." This issue is not only about expensive illnesses. Preexisting conditions include such conditions as being overweight, having high blood pressure and having high cholesterol. Individually these conditions may not result in denial of coverage, but in combination they will result in higher premiums, denial of coverage or a waiver for specific conditions. A Star-News article recently stated that lower back pain is a common condition that can lead to denial of coverage. The "consumer protections" in the various bills (end to rescission, accepting those with preexisting conditions, and eliminating pricing based on factors other than age) have been agreed to by both sides of the aisle. This is simply an issue of fairness. Why should those who have been insured for their entire life find themselves without health insurance simply because their insurance company went out of business, they changed jobs, or they moved to another state? Is the current system fair to the tens of thousands of salaried retirees of the automobile companies and their parts suppliers? They now live with the fear that their health insurance will be cancelled before they are eligible for Medicare. I have deliberately not addressed the emotional issue of helping those who are too poor to afford health insurance. All I can say is that one's position on that subject is a reflection of the compassion within their soul.
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