A metaphor for health insurance even Congress can understand


One of the arguments that always comes back about the number of uninsured is that 64% or so of Americans have insurance and like it. (WaPo)

But, what nobody is doing is actually looking at what the insurance really is. Here is a metaphor that I think might clear up what the insurance problem in this country really is.

Let’s say your insurance policy is a pile of money, or if you are in Congress reading this, a bag of money stuck in a freezer. The only hitch here is that some of these bills are counterfeit, but you don’t know which ones. When you pay for medical procedures, you can only pay for them using bills at the top going down. Obviously, when the medical provider gets paid, he is going to reject the counterfeit bills and want you to swap out real ones for them.

When you run out of a stack of money, you can no longer buy any more medical things. And, the money stack must stay on the table it is on (your job!) so if that gets taken away, the stack of money goes with it.

The 10-47 million uninsured folks are not really a problem. They will either die early or get treated minimally until they do. The real problem this country faces are the 260-197 million or so who have a stack of health insurance money, but have no idea which bills are real and which aren’t until they need to spend them.

Switch out enough bills for counterfeit ones and they will start buying pitchforks instead of CAT scans.