Huckster’s False Analogy

22 Sep

All too often people concoct an analogy and either the speaker or the audience fail to realize the story is based on false premises.  Political preacher and former governor from Arkansas Mike Huckabee spun such a yarn last weekend during the Voters Value Summit.   Here’s what he said:
 
“And then a lot of this, it sounds so good, and it’s such a warm message to say, ‘And we’re not gonna deny anyone from a pre-existing condition.’ Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I wanna ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle, that you can just come on with whatever condition you have and we’re gonna cover you at the same cost we’re covering everybody else because we wanna be fair. Okay, fine. Then let’s do that with our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, ‘I’d like to buy some insurance for my house.’ He’d say, ‘Tell me about your house.’ ‘Well, sir, it burned down yesterday, but I’d like to insure it today.’ [Laughter.] And he’ll say ‘I’m sorry, but we can’t insure it after it’s already burned.’ Well, no pre-existing conditions.”
 
Uh, Mr. Huckster, isn’t what you describing really life insurance?  One cannot purchase life insurance on someone who’s already dead and the same goes for buying casualty insurance on a house that isn’t there. Nor can anyone purchase medical insurance the day after leaving the hospital to cover yesterday’s medical expenses and Health Care Reform does NOT require that either. 
 
In the real world the analogy would be something more like this.  You go to your agent and say, “I want to buy insurance on my house.”  The agent will ask, “Tell me about your house.”  You tell the agent all about the house and the estimated value and you receive a policy in a few days.  About six months later your house burns down and the insurance company rejects the claim.  The reason given.  “The house was in a flood zone and you failed to disclose that on your application.  Your house had a pre-existing condition and we cannot cover your claim.”  “Too bad, so sad…..sucka.”   That is the life and death struggle in the real world of the current predatory health insurance industry.
 
I realize various insurance products and underwriting are more complex, but my analogy is closer to the real truth than the Huckster’s.
So to anyone who buys into Huckabee’s incredible spin I have two words of advise:  Critical Thinking
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