A central part of political discussion is our health care system. Here are some thoughts on this issue:

The purpose of insurance is to indemnify the insured (you) against an unexpected loss. You cannot set your home or business on fire in an effort to collect the cash. You cannot run your car into a quarry so the insurance will buy you a new one. You have to be dead before your family can collect life insurance. However, health insurance, rather than paying for unexpected loss, is a Christmas Tree of goodies that pays off on a regular basis.

Go to the doctor’s office for a checkup, insurance pays; have a drug addiction, insurance pays; planning a family and have a child, insurance pays! No unexpected loss necessary. Politicians found that they can buy votes by providing insurance payments to special constituents. In some cases you do not even need insurance. Show up at an emergency room without insurance, hospital pays.

What people do not realize is that this is what drives insurance costs through the roof. If people complain, politicians point a finger at “greedy” insurance companies. Then as reward for their abuse towards insurance companies, politicians take control of the whole industry and pile on further regulations. Now the insurance companies will be required to pay for contraceptives for women (what, not men?). Everyone’s insurance premiums will climb again. Now, rather than going to the corner drugstore to buy what you need, you send your money to an insurance or government bureaucracy, they take what they need and then overpay for products they think are best for you.

Before Medicare, St. Louis had two public hospitals plus many not-for-profit facilities run by religious orders providing low-cost care. Since Medicare medical care skyrocketed.