Thursday, September 23, 2010
House on Fire
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas and candidate for President, compared the provisions in the Affordable Health Care Act which prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing medical conditions to enabling people to purchase home owners' insurance for a house that has already burned down.
As someone with a house on fire, you might have expected Mr. Huckabee to be more sympathetic to people with pre-existing conditions.
I think it's likely Mike Huckabee's viewpoint is influenced by his type 2 diabetes. He was over 300 pounds and a self-confessed foodaholic. He turned his own health around, corrected his diet and started exercising, lost over 100 pounds, and became a marathon runner.
He may have a tendency to feel that sick people are responsible for their own illnesses.
My position is probably influenced by my experience. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 15. No one is completely certain about the cause, but it certainly wasn't anything I knowingly did.
And I can't just eat right and exercise and have the symptoms go away.
But Huckabee has a point. Insuring that sick people will not continue to be sick is not a profitable proposition.
That seems simple enough.
It was called the Affordable Health Care Act, not the Profitable Health Insurance Act, because we need affordable health care. There is no great public outcry for a more profitable health insurance industry. Health insurance is, after all, extremely profitable.
Huckabee was right about this law being tough on insurance companies. It's another reason we need to get insurance companies out of our health care.
I don't think it's fair to make insurance companies insure houses that have already burned down, but when my house is on fire (As a type 1 diabetic, my house is definitely on fire.) I want to be able to dial 911 and get a fire truck.
Huckabee was speaking at the Values Voter Summit. It's clear that human health and life are not among those values.