Saving (for) your life

Health insurance is a pretty simple concept — individuals pooling their resources so that when one of their number falls ill, he or she can afford to pay for treatment. That’s really all it boils down to. (The only real question here should be whether the managers of those pooled resources are entitled to place their own interests — i.e., profits — above the needs of the insured, but that’s another post.)

So what’s Bush’s solution? Why, health savings accounts, of course — a tax free account, so you can set aside money to pay for your own health care. Who needs health insurance? We’ll just give you a tax cut so you can save up money for your own medical needs! We’re a self-reliant nation, after all! Working together as a society — that’s socialism! Like the godless Canadians have! Hell, why don’t you just study up and perform your own appendectomy, while you’re at it?

Given the rate of savings in this country, and the state of the actual economy (in contrast to the fictional one Bush is also likely to discuss tonight), most people might manage to save just about enough money for a single MRI. If they’re lucky.

After that, it’s back to the emergency room, I guess.