Shoe Leather Express

Bob Ellis has some thoughts on why non-governmental entities do not need to hold townhall meetings and answer to the citizens for their business practices within that forum:

If someone doesn’t like the behavior or services of a particular insurance agent or insurance company, thank God that in America we have the freedom to go somewhere else for goods and services. We can exercise liberty over our property (e.g. our money) via the freedom of the shoe leather express.  That freedom is one of the things that has made America great…and is one of the things in the cross hairs of this socialist takeover of health care. Our government, on the other hand, is the only one we have…and again, it is legally charged by the U.S. Constitution to be accountable to the people and to operate within the confines of said Constitution.

I would add that, over the years I have been able to exercise my freedom to go elsewhere for goods and services many, many times with regard to businesses. I have also been able to do this for a number of state and local governments. After all, though I greatly enjoy New Jersey, I chose to not continue to live there because of taxation, regulation, etc.

My single biggest concern with having an essential product or service distributed only by the federal government (outside of the necessary security to ensure that we have the freedom to engage in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”) is that I cannot vote with my feet, unless I wish to leave the country and become a citizen of another country. For that to be my only choice is fundamentally wrong.

In other words, when it comes to health care, food, clothing, education (the list is long) . . . . Viva la competition.

2 thoughts on “Shoe Leather Express

  1. But I can’t really walk away from my private insurance policy either… not if I don’t want to gamble even more on illness and bankruptcy for my wife and daughter. I’m with you on food and clothing — heck, we could walk completely away from every provider and make our own! But private health insurance is more like police and fire protection: it just doesn’t follow those nice happy rules of ideal capitalism which I wish could work more often but which don’t.

    My original point that inspired Bob to write was that when everything works the way it should, the common citizen has more ability to hold government accountable than to hold private insurance corporations accountable.

    And on walking away, note that insurance companies are always looking for ways to walk away from us. Get the sniffles, have acne on your medical record… they’re gone with your money. Government can’t walk away from us; we’re stuck with each other… at least unless the government convicts us of treason or some such crime… and even then, we get more due process than a private insurer will ever give.

  2. CAH,

    Yes, you can walk away from your private insurance policy. You have made a decision not too. I’ve walked away from several insurance policies (and my wife and I were even uninsured for an extended period of time). Insurance is about risk management. You have chosen to give most of the risk to someone else rather than handling it yourself. Your freedom, your choice.

    The common citizen does not have more ability to hold government accountable than private insurance corporations. The common citizen can complain all day long, but government generally only cares if there are elections on the line. Business, on the other hand, can get an immediate negative response which seriously affects the bottom line. For example, look at what many policyholders did to AIG when AIG abused the trust which had been placed in the company. Look at what a number of AARP members (who were enjoying the insurance benefits of membership) did when the AARP was not representing their interests in the current health care debate. Look at what future non-customers of that iffy daycare in Sioux Falls are going to do with their children.

    Insurance coverage is provided by contract. If you do not like the terms of the contract, you are not forced to sign. I have had several discussions with insurance companies based on preexisting conditions and whether certain procedures were covered under the terms of my contract. I have always been successful in holding the insurance companies with whom I have dealt to the terms of the contract. I have never had an insurance company be “gone with my money” as you so simply state it.

    Private insurers are under the law just as you and I are. If they fail to meet the terms of their contracts, they can suffer legal and financial penalties. When insurance companies do things which are wrong (and I’m far from saying that everyone is treated in accordance with contract in all cases) there are legal remedies within our current system.

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