Saturday, October 09, 2010

Government Pervasions 2

Anyone who does not recognize the pervasive intrusions that government makes in our everyday lives must be blind.   I had two aunts who lived in North Carolina for most of their lives,  neither ever lived in California.   The last one died in 2008.  I served as their executor.   In that role I received mail from the estate.   Yesterday, I received a solicitation from the Department of Health Care Services to purchase long term care insurance for the older of my two aunts.  The solicitation was addressed to her, even though she died two years ago.   The Department's program "helps Californians receive the care they may need..."

There are many levels to object to "public private partnership."  Let me list several.  #1 - Are there not available alternatives from traditional insurance companies that could cover this need?  If you look at current providers there are plenty of individual and group programs offered by numerous insurance companies and groups.  The assumption must be that the state can negotiate a better group buying discount than national groups like AARP.  That is nonsensical on its face.   #2 - How did the state get my aunt's name?  It boggles the mind to figure out how the state got my aunt's name to send the solicitation.   My aunt never lived in California, and last visited here probably fifty years ago.  #3 - Does the state derive revenue from this program?  Most group buying programs generate some income for the organization that selected the vendor.   But presumably having a state program compete with private insurers and private groups that offer the coverage does nothing to enhance the competitive nature of this very competitive market.  #4 More importantly, does the state bear any expense for this program?  Here accounting is important.   I will guarantee you that when the program was created it was sold with the notion that there would be no state cost.   I will also guarantee you that the argument then was false.  The solicitation includes the name of the director of the DHCS and the Governor.

If you don't see the problem with a state government competing with the private sector in what is a very efficient market, for individual and group policies, then you should object to a government that can intercept personal information of a person and use it for other purposes.

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