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Health insurance genetic discount

Take advantage of your inheritance!
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(+1, -4)
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This idea was prompted by the linked article which explains why Americans have been unwilling to change our current healthcare "system" into a universal health insurance like that of most first world nations. The short answer: we are unwilling to subsidize the risk of those other chumps who are no doubt less healthy and less lucky than we are.

If it is an "every man for himself" in the US, I want to do everything I can to keep my own health insurance rates low. No-one complains that nonsmokers pay less for health insurance than smokers, or the thin pay less than the fat. There has been much fear, however, that genetic tests will determine other risk factors for disease and this will be used to hike the insurance rates (or deny insurance) to the genetically cursed.

I propose that this genetic information could be used for insurance purposes if it were cast as a blessing, not a curse. People could optionally take a test for a battery of genetic polymorphisms, looking for variants linked the breast cancer, Alzheimers, and other expensive conditions. They could then turn part or all of the test results in to their insurer. If they have _good_ genes, their rates would fall! Thus they are rewarded for their good genetic inheritance, just as they are already rewarded for not smoking and living in the right zip code. Even the most principled of Americans would jump at the chance to save money.

In this natural extension of the current system, people who did not like their test results would not need to turn them in, and thus the results could not be used against them. In fact, they could turn in the bad results if they wished, and their rates would still not go up. People who object to genetic testing need not participate - and their rates would not go up.

bungston, Sep 06 2005

The American Health Care System. http://www.newyorke...icles/050829fa_fact
Leftof center, like most New Yorker articles, but excellently written and free on line - again, like most New Yorker articles. [bungston, Sep 06 2005]


       This is some great sarcasm! Very subtle.
zeno, Sep 06 2005

       \\In this natural extension of the current system\\ Not to mention a let's all and but not really an idea. Very bitter sounding actually.
hidden truths, Sep 06 2005

       I read recently that the US government has been considering how to model the US healthcare system on a better system such as the 'excellent' British NHS. I find this very concerning.
wagster, Sep 06 2005

       Yes, [bungston] - very subtle. Perhaps the 'every man for himself' philosophy as the basis for your social system has been best demonstrated in the current crisis in New Orleans. Despite that, I sympathise with anyone trying to run a health system or implement a coherent and effective health policy in this day and age. The costs are enormous and growing rapidly, the populace are eating and resting themselves to death and disease at an alarming rate while on the other hand demanding that governments lower their taxes. Throw in a (largely) rapacious body of general practitioners and specialists, litigation lawyers circling like vultures and quacks screeching from the sidelines about the evils of vaccination and flouridation...... I could go on. But yes, the US really should bite the bullet on a decent universal health care system as well as some extreme effort at nutritional and lifestyle education.
ConsulFlaminicus, Sep 06 2005

       //I'm sure we can all agree //
Sorry. No. But I'm thinking [scout] you are being as cynical as [bungston].

       There was this remark about natural selection in my head and then I read the article...

       The Canadians simply spread their health costs over the VAT. That way, the more you buy, the more you pay. Very effective and very fair.
Susan, Sep 06 2005

       That's a very interesting article, bungston.
calum, Sep 07 2005


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