Thursday, March 9, 2017

Paul Ryan and the Dirty Secret of How Insurance Works: Well, Duh!

I'm trying to think of how to break this to Speaker of the House, Republican Paul Ryan gently.

So take a look at this chart. The red slice here are what I would call people with preexisting conditions. People who have real health-care problems. The blue is the rest of the people in the individual market — that’s the market where people don’t get health insurance at their jobs where they buy it themselves. The whole idea of Obamacare is the people on the blue side pay for the people on the red side. The people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick.

It’s not working, and that’s why it’s in a death spiral.
--Paul Ryan

Mr. Ryan must have insured his house against destruction by fire, and he pays premiums every year for this policy.  Here is something he clearly does not grasp: When the house belonging to someone else burns down, it's premiums from Mr. Ryan and others like him which pay for the payout to the guy whose house burned down. The people with the healthy, unburned houses are supporting that guy.

This is the dirty secret of the insurance industry: You got a lot of lucky, unaffected people who never ask for a pay out supporting the guy who needs it when his house burns down, or, in the case of health insurance, when he gets sick.

So, Mr. Ryan rolled up his sleeves and explained, using a very colorful Powerpoint presentation, to the press, his colleagues in the House and to the American people this fatal flaw in Obamacare, namely that you've got this group of people who are sick, represented in the red slice on the pie chart, and you've got this much bigger group of healthy people, in the blue slice,  who support the sick people with their premiums. This is why Obamacare is in a death spiral!  You've got healthy people supporting sick people!

 Is this not the most twisted, unfair, dishonest, corrupt thing you have ever heard of?

It was so much fun listening to Kai Ryssdal play Mr. Ryan's explanation on "Marketplace," the NPR business report, and Mr. Ryssdal let a beat go by, and then said, deadpan, "Uh, that is exactly how insurance works."


  1. Mad Dog,
    Wow-such an eye opener..I hope these little power point presentations will continue. Maybe next time the good Speaker can explain gravity or that the earth is round. Hold onto your seats..

  2. Ms. Maud,
    You have got to admit, this Republican juggernaut is way more entertaining than President Obama's intelligent, efficient administration.
    As Roger Rabbit explained when he was berated for screwing things up, "Well, it's true it was a disaster, but it was FUNNY!"

    Mad Dog