Pilot Letter: Grateful for health care


“The Affordable Care Act allowed us to gain coverage under a private plan, and every member of our family has benefited in some way from the care it has allowed us to access.”

I wonder if the writer knows that other families, possibly some living on the same street in her own neighborhood, are paying her medical bills. It’s not illegal. There’s no moral issue, except in the esoteric sense that lottery schemes are immoral for practical reasons.

The letter appears, all the same, to be a classic example of the fallacy of the seen and unseen. The writer sees the benefit she is getting, and is justly thankful for it, but doesn’t see the cost of providing that benefit.

10 thoughts on “Pilot Letter: Grateful for health care

  1. “Securing coverage from a health plan was a life-changing moment for our family.”

    Nowhere in the letter does the writer say she and her family are the recipients of free health care. SHe did not claim that her family received health insurance through the MEDICAID expansion in VA. She even spoke of the copay for her three night postpartum hospital stay. Having affordable health care through the ACA is all she is talking about. You took it straight to the idea that she and her family are getting something for nothing. THAT is the fallacy in your comment.

    I know, you don’t like the idea of insurance wrt to heath. But you completely missed the idea that this letter is talking about.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “Nowhere in the letter does the writer say she and her family are the recipients of free health care.”

      Where does the word “free” even appear in my post?

      But since you bring it up, people who use insurance to pay for health care do, in fact, get “free” care in the sense that other enrollees in the program pay for some part of an individual patient’s costs. That’s the whole purpose of insurance.

      My issue is that the financial model is a bad one. People who are thankful for the benefits they receive are, perhaps without knowing it, thankful for seeming to get something for nothing. But they don’t actually get something for nothing.


      1. I read your comment as an implication of free health care. Yeah, I know; assumption. But if you don’t agree with my interpretation of what you said, sorry.

        The same could be said about auto or homeowners insurance. Insurance pools money to cover losses for any and all who pay into it. Yes, you may never need it. But it helps to keep everyone’s costs down when they do.


      2. RE: “The same could be said about auto or homeowners insurance.”

        Yes it can, with the difference that auto and home expenses have better odds.


  2. You know that tree you drove into last year and totaled your car?

    I paid for that.

    Oh, and that kitchen fire that consumed half your house?

    I paid for that, too.

    Your premiums didn’t nearly cover the damage costs.

    Oh, who can forget that pedestrian you hit. I paid for her medical expenses, loss of income and some suffering.

    I would like to thank you for my back surgery, however.

    You may call it a lottery. I call it responsible protection of assets so that I, or you, won’t be a burden or impoverish our families. And that you were financially able to cover that woman’s losses.

    To paraphrase Don Tabor’s favorite comparison for gun ownership: you buy a fire extinguisher for a boat that you really hope never to use. But if the need arises, nothing else will do.

    Insurance is the cost of being a responsible citizen in a modern society.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “Insurance is the cost of being a responsible citizen in a modern society.”

      If you think paying hundreds of thousands of dollars into a lottery scheme over the course of a lifetime is “responsible,” then there’s nothing rational I can say.


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