Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What's the Worst That Could Happen?

The Metropolitan New York area survived the earthquake.  Now it must prepare itself for a possible direct hit by Hurricane Irene.  Hurricanes are another act of nature that actually hardly ever happen to New York City and points west.  The last direct hit on the city was Hurricane Gloria in 1985.  Long Island is another matter altogether.  That’s where the hurricanes this area usually gets go on vacation. 

Hurricanes like the Hamptons and the Cape.  They pass by the Jersey Shore, but apparently consider the Wildwoods, Seaside Heights, and Asbury Park too low-profile to be bothered.  They’re not even impressed by all the seaside-cottages nestled on the Jersey Shore’s secret hot-spot (don’t tell those kids from Brooklyn and the Bronx), Long Beach Island (only real Jerseyites get to call it LBI).

Evidently, the Jersey Shore has caught Irene’s “eye.”  She wants to check out Snooki and the gang, maybe get Snooki’s autograph.  Snooki is a Jersey Girl by way of New York City and Hollywood, though.  The real Jersey Girls, that I know, can’t stand her.  They think she’s a poser and that she’s giving real Jersey Girls a stupid name.

People along the Jersey Shore’s barrier islands know they can’t be insured by the regular insurance companies.  The houses in Ventnor City (just south of Atlantic City), for instance, are all within the 1,000 foot setback.  There’s really nowhere you can go that isn’t within reach of a tidal surge, even on its back bay.  Ventnor City’s homes are all Millionaire Row homes.

If these homes get damaged, though, you can be sure the Media will blame the “evil” insurance companies for putting money ahead of community partnership.  Never mind that these are all vacation homes.  Or that the residents should at least be aware that they’re building a house 200 feet from the water.

New Jerseyans have an excuse, at least.  Hurricanes have sideswiped the Garden State, but rarely come for a visit, so Snooki feels relatively safe having a home right on the boardwalk (or wherever they are).  On Long Island, though they should know better, houses are built right along the beachfront, up to the water’s edge, cheek by jowl, with ne’er a thought of what might happen if a hurricane happens.

No need to worry.  Just blame the insurance company if something goes wrong and your house is washed out to sea.  Get your community organization united and picket your local insurance company’s offices for not insuring homes on the ocean side.

Health care is really the biggie for community activists who’ve been setting up the insurance companies for years.  The Progressives taught us for years that insurance companies were just like all those other “evil” corporations; only in it for the money.  Therefore, take whatever you can get from them.  Don’t sign on for health insurance until you can’t help it.  Let your employer – another of those big, “evil” corporations – take care of your insurance.

Young people are impressed and intimidated by the notion that buying insurance, especially at an early age, will be a drain on their limited finances.  Besides, it’s all part of the game; getting someone else to pay your bills.

Had any young person taken out health or life insurance, by age 50, they would have been paying a considerably lower premium at this point, as compared to trying to take out a policy at age 50.  Premiums do rise, but they would not have risen as catastrophically as they have.

Now, unable to stay in business, most insurers are fleeing the health insurance business completely.  One of the reasons is onerous state regulations (which will become federal, and therefore, pretty much permanent, if the Optional Federal Charter goes through).  In New Jersey, the governor is the mandatory head of nearly every major health insurance company in the state.  For the time being, that governor is Chris Christie.  A health insurer can’t do business here unless the governor is at the head of the table, making sure those companies don’t “profit” off other people’s “misfortunes.”

Misfortunes such as overeating, smoking, being too liberal with the salt shaker and the butter.  Sitting in lounge chairs watching Snooki and Friends instead of getting out and playing volleyball themselves.  Walking their dog.  Playing with the kids.  Driving when they could walk.

Gee, I sound like a Liberal.  Well, I don’t mean to sound like one.  Even if people do all that normal stuff, they shouldn’t have to pay $1,000 a month for the health insurance to cover life in general.  We have become too dependent on the health insurance for every little sniffle, without preparing for it ourselves in advance.  Now everyone wants to jump on the lifeboat – some people of whom are rather heavy, and others who are bringing along all their kids, for whom they should be able to manage the expenses themselves.

We wail in surprise that the health insurers are bailing out.  We have news for you:  they’re only supposed to be helping out.  Insurance companies aren’t charities.  But we listened to the Liberals telling us how “evil” they were, how we should let our employers pay the freight, and then let the government (read:  “taxpayers”) carry us the rest of the way.  We really fell into the trap and now we’re in a fix, especially with the rising unemployment rates.  Just when were we going to figure out that our companies couldn’t afford all our luxury benefits, and the health insurers couldn’t afford all the luxury benefits the unionized health care workers demanded?

Now we’re having a heart attack over the cost of health insurance?  Or a panic attack, at any rate.  Government’s suggestion is to throw Grandma over the side of the lifeboat.  That’s a solution?  As in the Final Solution?  Sadly, that’s exactly what Fabians like George Bernard Shaw had in mind.  Culling the herd.  We’re the “Bewildered Herd,” according to Walter Lippmann; we’re too stupid to make decisions for ourselves.  So the Death Panels – and that’s what they are – will make the hard decisions for us.

The worst is yet to come, though.  Stock up on your comfort food this weekend as you try to figure out (like me) how you’re going to pay for medical care if/when you lose your job and who’s going to pay for it when you can’t.

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