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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000578.txt from 2004/08

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: RE: [kl] [OT] Costco caskets
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 20:53:33 -0400

At 10:29 AM 8/19/2004 -0400, Marc Charette wrote:
>From: Bill Hausmann
> > It flies in the face of the whole principle of shared risk that
> > the system is based on.
>Shared risk? Hah. There's no generic pool of insured; there are "selected"
>risk pools, which, when it comes to medicine, prices segments of the
>population out of the market. If there were truly a generic pool, some of
>us would pay less, and some of us would pay more for our insurance.

Maybe I am missing something here, but I thought that if it was truly a
generic pool, all people would pay exactly the same.

>Genetic testing for predisposion towards later life medical problems just
>amplifies the current "family history" that you're asked for when applying
>for insurance. Your family history partly determines the risk pool you're
>placed in, and of course they're depending on genetic transference of
>specific problems. Genetic testing can possibly show a lot more information
>and allow insurance companies to further segregate the pools, lowering the
>risk to their shareholders and letting them "lay off" less of their funds
>with other insurance agencies (co-insurance).
>So there's less support for the sick by the healthy because of selective
>pooling; there's also the complex ethical and moral issue of whether people
>who make themselves sick (through substance abuse, for instance, or
>high-risk activities) should be supported by the healthy.

I know that auto insurance varies according to certain risk factors,
including driver age and type of car, but genetics gets way too personal.

>One of my sons is studying actuarial science at U of Mich so we talk often
>of these dilemmas; statistics and their (mis)application is an interesting

I belive it was Mark Twain who said there are three kinds of lies: Lies,
damned lies, and statistics.

Bill Hausmann

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is TOO LOUD!

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