Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Taking An Obsession With Gender Equality To Its Logical Conclusion

"Legislation outlawing gender rating by health insurers took another step forward Monday when the Assembly voted overwhelmingly to prohibit insurers from using a person's sex as the basis for charging different premiums for similar policies."

Why in the world would insurers have the audacity to think that they have any right to price health care according to gender? Simply because men and women are biologically distinct, suffer from different diseases, have different ailments and weaknesses as they age, etc. is surely no reason to think that they should be charged different rates for insurance. It would be like a mechanic charging more when working on a Ferrari than a Toyota, simply because it requires different parts and more training. How much sense would that make?!?! Oh...wait...

More seriously though, this is a perfect example of Thomas Sowell's criticism that the left doesn't "think beyond the basics". Charging women more money is bad. End of thought processes. The idea that women may have higher costs for the system (Anyone heard of pregnancy? How many men require a monthly pill throughout much of their sexual prime?) isn't even a factor. The net result of pricing restrictions will be that it becomes less profitable to insure women. Companies will need to make up the difference, probably by paying doctors less for female-specific procedures. This in turn will make specialties like gynecology less profitable than male specialties, chasing the most qualified doctors to other fields. When women see a scarcity of doctors focusing on their ailments, the cry of "gender discrimination" will ring out, necessitating further government "solutions".