Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 747, December 1, 2013

Gun control has only one purpose:
to intimidate and control the Productive Class.

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Realistic Comparison of the "Affordable Care Act"
by Jeff Colonnesi

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I've heard a lot of people throw out comparisons of the affordable care act to other things. Car insurance, boats and guns to name a few. It's odd though that no one seems to compare it to the closest thing we have to something that (like our bodies) is universally needed by everyone.

Housing. Specifically, housing insurance.

Everyone has a body. Everyone has some type of housing (it may just be a cardboard box, but it qualifies). Not everyone has, or needs health insurance. Not everyone has, or needs, housing insurance (homeowners or rental insurance—let's just lump it together as property insurance).

So what would the ACA mean applied to property insurance?

You would have to buy it. Doesn't matter if you can't afford it, or you don't have enough property to be worth insuring. It doesn't matter if you don't want it.

A lot of lower income people, who currently do without renters insurance, would have their insurance payments partially subsidized by those of us who make more money. In short, we get to pay the premiums to cover (and replace) the stuff stolen from a low income tenement. If you don't get the insurance, you'll be fined for it. But the fines are so slight the first few years of the law that many will decide to pay them instead of the insurance premiums. Your employer, if they employ more than a certain number of people, will be fined if they don't provide property insurance for you.

Your rates can't be adjusted by the precautions you take. So the person who doesn't bother to lock their door when they aren't home can't pay more than a person with a gated property, security windows, private security, extensive home security systems and a safe for their valuables. You might see a slight increase by neighborhoods, but the person living in a burned out neighborhood in Detroit can't pay more than 3 times the amount as someone in the most exclusive gated private community for the same dollar amount of coverage.

Your insurance company has to let your kids be covered under your policy till they are 26. Even if they don't live at home. No matter where they live. And their stuff is going to be covered even if they do high risk activities (like have big open house parties with lots of strangers, or lighting a fire in a trash can inside to keep warm because they forgot to pay the heating bill) and they can't be forced to pay extra because of that high risk activity.

You can't be denied for a "pre-existing condition". So if you were one of the many who decided to go with the fine rather than buy insurance, and your house burns down .... Well just go get insurance after it burned down. You're still covered. Even if your house suffered damage before the law went into effect it will still be covered. Even if the damage was due to neglect—or willful vandalism.

Vandalism, oh yes. Not only from someone else, but if you decide to break out all the windows in your house during a wild night of partying, your insurance company will have to pay to replace them. And they cannot raise your rates or cancel your policy. Did you light the sofa on fire trying to light your crack pipe? Don't worry—you're covered. Did you (a homeowner with no knowledge of construction) try to remove a wall only to find out it was holding up the roof (look up "load bearing")? Don't worry—you're covered. You decided to flood the basement because you wanted to swim indoors in January? Don't worry—you're covered.

Even some non-necessary things will be covered. You want a pool for recreation? Any policy you or your employer can buy has to cover it. You don't want a pool for recreation (perhaps you prefer a trampoline)? Tough, your policy has to have coverage for a pool whether you have one or not, but trampolines are not covered.

Of course, with so many new claims coming in, it's unlikely that anyone qualified to repair your home will be able to get to see you in a reasonable time. All the stores that sell interior furnishings (from furniture to computers) will likely have waiting lists months long to get replacements for your stuff. And when you do get someone to come out to repair your stuff, they will be so rushed that they can't give the job the time it really needs—unless they want to do it for free (insurance can only pay them for so much time....).

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