Leaving aside the foaming-at-the-mouth libertarianism, there is no question that health insurance companies would prefer to discriminate on such issues as sex, gender, race, diet, driving record, ownership of a motercycle, marital status, income, or propensity towards mountain climbing. You see, all these factors affect your health (at least on a statistical basis), and the insurance companies would certainly prefer to offer lower premiums to those likely to incur fewer expenses.
Yes, they'd prefer. I see no problem with that. In fact I see a problem with telling them to do otherwise, as the company is theirs, and there's no real right for us to tell us what to do with it. They however, wouldn't do it out of simple racist principles, and would have a much bigger review, which would be quite comprehensive, and this certainly won't have the same effect as segregation would -- companies aren't interested in racist theories, they're interested in bringing profit to the share holder. Generally, the way they bring a profit to share holder, is by giving their customers an offer to agree on, as to have the customer bring in money.
One may, however, wish to consider the social consequences of allowing such rules. As for paying for an ambulance, who is going to pay when a homeless man steps into traffic and is hit by a car?
Libertarianism doesn't necesserily mean complete chaos, and lack of basic public services. There's different ways of dealing with such. The way I'd like to see it, is a basic ambulance service, for the purpose of defending against communicable deceases (sp?), or traffic hazards, or basically other direct dangerous to people. Perhaps, the individual will be picked up off the street and into a hospital, to the point of not being a public hazard and not being simply left to die. The percentage of people without any insurance is going to be neglible, and there could be obstacles are free riders -- such as not-paying for hospital stays resulting in bad credit history / debt. There's also libertarians who would suggest that ambulance services could be paid off by voluntary housing / property owner associations, who are themselves in charge of keeping the area safe from germs.
As for social consequence, I'm much concerned with the social consquences of making it permissible and "nothing out of the ordinary" of punishing individuals who had caused no direct harm to any other individual, and only "questionable" doubt to society. Insurance companies can take care of such behaviour already -- by the use of higher premiums, or by refusing service. Do you really want politicians who know nothing about health (or know only what's been told to them by special interest groups who have no interest in you) telling you what to do with your bide? Or politicians who know nothing (or know only what's been told to them by GM lobbyists) about cars telling you what car to have, and telling the manufacturers how to build that car? Thats the social consequences I'm worried about: the fact that most every action I'll take will be regulated by someone who knows nothing about what I'm doing, and as often is the case could care less (as long as he gets his/her campaign contributions).
man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
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