Healthcare is Not an Insurable Risk, States Doctor in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

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| Source: Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While "healthcare reform" efforts are focused on the goal of "universal coverage," they are misdirected if, as surgeon Ralph Butz, M.D. states in the winter 2013 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, healthcare is not an insurable risk.

"When the U.S Supreme Court noted in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius that virtually everyone would at some point use healthcare, it essentially admitted that healthcare is not an insurable risk because insurable risks are random and infrequent," Butz states.

Dr. Butz continues: "If one demands that the free market deliver health insurance for all, then it must fail because the demand is impossible to meet. The government cannot do the impossible either. What it calls national health insurance, or universal healthcare, is not actually insurance, but a socialist scheme to redistribute wealth."

Butz shows how casualty insurance, which is generally affordable, differs from healthcare coverage: "Theft is theft and fire is fire, so that fire or theft insurance is fairly clear-cut." Health, on the other hand, is hard to define, and medical care can expand without limit.

"Unlimited benefits create incentives for the insured to use medical care for which he would not be willing to pay the market price," Butz writes. Limits are written into insurance contracts to decrease these incentives.

Butz notes: "Removal of these limits, as 'ObamaCare' purports to do by eliminating lifetime caps or underwriting for pre-existing conditions, makes it even plainer that the cost of medical care is an uninsurable risk."

The transformation from defined medical loss insurance to insurance of medical care costs could never have occurred without government intervention, Butz explains. "A growing stream of government programs and regulations has resuscitated this monster each time it staggered under market forces."

To make excellent medical care available, we first need to generate wealth, he writes. "The free market has been the engine for social wealth and peace. The generation of unprecedented wealth in the United States provided the means of charity." He observes that in a free society, charity provides for the needy.

In contrast, Butz states that "government 'insurance' or 'social insurance'—which really amounts to socialism—does not generate wealth but simply redistributes it and reduces its production."

Butz concludes: "The hallmarks of a free society are a free market and charity. Attempts to insure the uninsurable destroy both."

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110