Would you take out an insurance policy on your home that did not cover damage or destruction by common hazards, such as fire, or tornado, in return for a lower premium ? Or that capped its benefits at, say, $20,000.00, or at only a small fraction of your actual value ? Probably not. Your home is likely your most valuable asset. And the shelter it provides is a necessity of life. Of course, cost is important, but this is not a matter about which most of us would gamble.

Who of us considers his home to be more important than his life ? Then why would you consider a healthcare insurance policy with limited benefits, when it is not possible to foresee the maladies and injuries for which you will need treatment ?

Current Republican proposals to replace Obamacare give their blessing to healthcare insurance policies that will turn individual citizens into gamblers over their own health. Insurance companies will be allowed to offer policies that do not protect against serious, expensive medical conditions, or refuse to insure individuals with pre-existing conditions, or limit the amount the company would pay out even though the patients treatment bills are much higher. Presumably such policies would bear lower premiums than broad coverage.

This is the Republican fix for the bankruptingly high premiums coupled with enormous co-pays that have often made Obamacare policies unusable to ordinary folks.

But the only way to provide honest broad coverage at modest prices is dictated by the principles underlying insurance: spread the risk among as many as possible, so that only a relative few will make claims at any one time; and the corollary that the larger the risk pool, the lower the premium.

As applied to this situation, two steps are involved:

1. abandon the fragmented, Obamacare, state-by-state approach and keep the Obamacare congregation together in one, gigantic risk pool;2. Insure that group under a single program.

This could be accomplished by expanding Medicare to include these folks. In addition to providing the newcomers with affordable, broad coverage, the infusion of these younger millions would add badly needed reinforcement for this popular and vital program.

Lets switch the debate away from gambling about our healthcare.

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