Making pretend with capitalism

I mostly stayed away from The Internets over the Thanksgiving holiday, so I have little to say on whatever hot topics are in the news now until I have time to catch up. However, I did stumble on an thought-denying article by Dr. James Dobson title “Eleven Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage”. I’m not going to run through the eleven arguments because I think one will suffice to discredit Dr. Dobson’s effort, unless one chooses not to think. Consider argument number six:

6. The health care system will stagger and perhaps collapse.

This could be the straw that breaks the back of the insurance industry in Western nations, as millions of new dependents become eligible for coverage. Every HIV-positive patient needs only to find a partner to receive the same coverage as offered to an employee. It is estimated by some analysts that an initial threefold increase in premiums can be anticipated; even with that, it may not be profitable for companies to stay in business.

And how about the cost to American businesses? Will they be able to provide health benefits? If not, can physicians, nurses, and technicians be expected to work for nothing or to provide their services in exchange for a vague promise of payments from indigent patients? Try selling that to a neurosurgeon or an orthopedist who has to pay increased premiums for malpractice insurance. The entire health care system could implode.

Is it possible? Yes. Will it happen? I don’t know.

I can only come to the conclusion that Dr. Dobson is either lying or ignorant. Although the Dr. associated with a PhD is no guarantee of intelligence, I’m betting on lying. Perhaps millions of new dependents would become eligible for coverage, but I suspect the insurance industry is capable of handling the extra load. From paying attention in my Finance classes during my undergraduate education, I remember something about risk. Insurance companies provide customers with risk management. If a customer wants health insurance, an insurance company will accept some of that risk. But here’s the key: they expect compensation from the insured for managing that risk, appropriate for the level of risk.

Dr. Dobson’s concern regarding HIV-positive patients customers is particularly misguided. Ignore Dr. Dobson’s ridiculous implication that HIV infection correlates to same-sex marriage specifically, and homosexuality in general. Also, assume for a moment that estimates by some analysts predicting a threefold increase in premiums are accurate. Isn’t it obvious that the insurance companies are demanding more compensation to manage more risk? And if the threefold increase in premiums isn’t sufficient and insurance companies can’t stay in business, the fault will rest with the insurance companies unable to manage risk, not HIV-positive patients customers seeking coverage. We should expect them to go out of business, understanding that competent businesses will soon replace them. It’s called capitalism.

Just as amusing is Dr. Dobson’s assertion about the cost to American businesses. Forget everything after his initial “concern” for American businesses. Maybe this is perfect time to get American businesses out of the health care business and let it be a transaction between individuals and health care insurers/providers. But that’s just a suggestion. Given Dr. Dobson’s apparent misrepresentation of business, I don’t expect much.

Dr. Dobson’s remaining arguments are equally absurd. Read them if you’ve finished reading everything else on The Internets.

Update: Fixed a few grammatical mistakes and added text about the HIV+/homosexuality correlation. Kip explained this perfectly in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Making pretend with capitalism”

  1. Of course, the alternative to having HIV and health insurance is having HIV and not having health insurance.
    In other words, what Dobson is really saying is that if benefits are extended to gay spouses, then HIV+ gays will actually seek health care rather than the preferred outcome of crawling into some corner and dying a gruesome death by AIDS.
    So much for “God’s Love.”
    Oh, and by the way, not all gays have AIDS and not all with AIDS are gay.
    So much for “God’s Wrath.”

  2. Right.
    “Every HIV-positive patient needs only to find a partner to receive the same coverage as offered to an employee.”
    So is Dobson saying that anyone who didn’t acquire HIV through homosexual activity but finds a partner with benefits should be entitled to health care through their spouse, but those who are gay with HIV deserve nothing?

  3. 11 28 05
    Hello: I found you via KipEsquire’s blog. I like your analysis here and it shows that a lack of critical thinking has reached epic proportions in our society. The fact that some people would accept his statements as fact is downright scary, and what is even more that those who accept his tripe consider themselves to be conservatives. Geesh! Since when did being a conservative mean espousing hate speech shrouded in theocratic banter? No. I don’t like this line of slippery reasoning on gosh darned bit and I am happy that you have analyzed his errors in thinking!

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