Saturday, May 21, 2011

Be Sure to Insure


Auto insurance is a fact of life in our country. Currently, only one state does not require some form or another of insurance for automobiles, New Hampshire, and they require insurance in cases of some past infractions. As well, a resident will have driving privileges revoked in the event of an accident that involves uncompensated costs. Wisconsin requires either insurance, a $60,000 deposit with the DOT, or a bond filed with the same department. California follows a similar procedure, with the deposit or bond amount at $30,000.

And why is insurance mandated? It’s pretty simple, really. It’s to eliminate unpaid costs that would eventually be passed on to the taxpayers, via state and federal funds supplied by taxes, as well as state and federal fees and surcharges.

Strangely, or not, the Teabaggers and other self-appointed conservative enforcers have little to say about this form of mandated insurance. Perhaps the fact that the insurance saves billions of dollars in uncompensated costs has something to do with the silence.

And yet, they can’t seem to follow the same sort of logic when it comes to mandated healthcare.

Uninsured medical costs topped $200 billion last year, and have been over $100 billion since 2000. Of those costs, fully a third are ultimately uncompensated. The primary source of funding for those uncompensated costs are the federal, state, and local governments, or more accurately, the taxpayers. This pays 85% of the payment shortfall, to the tune of over $56 billion dollars last year.

And of course what cannot be calculated monetarily is the insufficient or nonexistent care for those who carry no insurance and either get subpar treatment, or forego it altogether.

So maybe it’s not about the money. Maybe it’s about who proposes the healthcare plan. After all, Mitt Romney got it through in Massachusetts, and contrary to what many talking heads insist, the plan actually has worked quite well. But then, Romney looks like the average ultra-con, and our President does not.

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