Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3749 posts) 1 year, 25 days ago

Poll: Should women pay more for health insurance? (358 votes)

Yes, because that's how insurance works. Most risk / frequent use = more money. 42%
No. I don't care if it makes sense statistically, I still disagree. 30%
No. And the elderly shouldn't pay more either. That's Ageism. 14%
No, and these "facts" are clearly just another means of oppressing women. 14%

Here's an interesting ethical question for you. If women take more out of the health care system than men do, but they both pay the same amount in insurance premiums, would it be accurate to call that gender equality?

Inspired by this lovely piece of completely one-sided "journalism" over at Yahoo:

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/fox-s-sexist-comments-on-women-s-healthcare-spark-outrage-172914267.html

The comments section is great, though. Many people--including more than a few women--agree that women should pay more. They also raise a good point about the gender discrimination when it comes to women paying less for car insurance, and how nobody in our government seems to care about that.

If women are statistically safer drivers, they SHOULD pay less for car insurance. That makes perfect sense, and it's the way insurance works. If you are less likely to need it, you are less likely to cost the system more than you put in, and you pay less money.

Anyhow, here are a couple of quotes from the doctor in question, who dared to suggest that people who statistically use their insurance more should actually pay more.

“We only have the prostate. Women have the breasts, they have the ovaries, they have the uterus, they get checked in every part.

"Look, it's not bias, I'm not saying this as a man," he said. "They go through a lot of preventive screenings, they give birth, they have the whole mammogram, the Pap smear. Guys, we don't like to go to doctors, right? Seventy percent of health care decisions are made by women. In my own practice, I see it's the women who bring the guys, who say, 'Go get screened.' Otherwise, we would never go."

And of course, at that point, all sorts of feminists and various women's interest groups cried fowl. And some people have suggested that the fact that women seek out preventative care certainly must make them LESS expensive to insurance companies than men. But let's look at that argument.

The thing is, I often hear that feminism views gender inequality as a systemic problem. I hear the argument that feminists don't view males as evil men twirling their mustaches and secretly piloting how they can continue to oppress women. And I believe that argument, and I feel that the vast majority of feminists do not view men in that way.

But the thing is, with that said, we're left with one of two possibilities.

1) There are men who run health insurance companies. These men structure their entire business around the concept of knowing who is more likely to pay into the system, and who is more likely to take more from the system. These men see hard data on all of their customers, and use that data to determine insurance premiums. These men have determined that overall, women take more from the system than men. Because of this, they charge women higher health care premiums than men.

2) There are men who run health insurance companies. These are evil men twirling their mustaches and secretly piloting how they can continue to oppress women.

So instead, we're left with the simple non-sexist fact that women really do cost health insurance companies more than men. The question is, do you believe that is fair?

And again, if women take more out of the health care system than men do, but they both pay the same amount in insurance premiums, would it be accurate to call that gender equality?

#1 Edited by BeachThunder (11959 posts) -

#2 Edited by TobbRobb (4654 posts) -

Lol, gotta love the phrasing on the choices. Not biased at all.

That said, I think for profit insurance companies can do whatever the fuck they want, and if they think women should pay more, so be it. However, government-based insurance and obligatory insurance really shouldn't differentiate too heavily in any direction. It isn't a system of paying for your own use, so it doesn't make sense to pay more because you use more, especially when it technically can't be proven. It's more of a pooled effort where everyone pitches in the same for each other, and as long as the total is enough, everyone should be happy.

#3 Posted by billymagnum (829 posts) -

should be interesting...

#4 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -

Haha.

No.

#5 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3749 posts) -

@tobbrobb said:

Lol, gotta love the phrasing on the choices. Not biased at all.

That said, I think for profit insurance companies can do whatever the fuck they want, and if they think women should pay more, so be it. However, government-based insurance and obligatory insurance really shouldn't differentiate too heavily in any direction. It isn't a system of paying for your own use, so it doesn't make sense to pay more because you use more, especially when it technically can't be proven. It's more of a pooled effort where everyone pitches in the same for each other, and as long as the total is enough, everyone should be happy.

It is fairly biased, but I don't feel that there is anything insulting about "No. I don't care if it makes sense statistically, I still disagree."

That would pretty much be your argument if you believe women take more from the system, but you are still morally opposed to the idea of one gender paying more than another. And if you don't believe that women take more from the system, then the alternative is that insurance companies are screwing over women for no good reason, which would make that last poll choice quite accurate.

Lastly, I can see someone not feeling that the amount women and men pay for insurance should be any different, no matter who uses the insurance more, because you can't control what sex you are born as. But the next step after that would be saying that you can't control your age either, so why should that be a factor?

If age wasn't a factor, premiums would cost people a lot more when younger, and a lot less when older, which could be argued as a different sort of fairness issue. With that choice, I was just allowing for another element in the discussion.

#6 Posted by TobbRobb (4654 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: That is also the option I chose! And I'm not personally insulted, I just thought it was cute if anything.

But yeah no, STATISTICALLY, I think women might be taking more overall. I just don't think that should be a consideration unless your company is privately owned and 100% for profit. Which I guess is all insurance in the US? From the perspective of Sweden, having women pay more makes literally no sense at all. Having it even considered in any way officially would blow up real bad in their faces.

#7 Posted by Christoffer (1824 posts) -

Wait, help me out here. According to this doctor, women have more body-parts to keep in check than men by nature (nothing they can help). Why should they pay more? Being an over-confident or more aggressive driver could be helped, couldn't it? That's the small, but important, diffrence.

#8 Edited by AlexanderSheen (5011 posts) -
#9 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

i mean sure, from like a statistical standpoint. It makes sense, vaginas are crazy scary holes of crazy. Penises are well they generally handle themselves. They got vag-docs, we don't got no cock-docs do we?!

but from a serious ethical stand point. no they shouldn't pay more. The point of insurance is everyone pays this company small monthly fees. They then pay off people who are part of their service who end up with medical problems. Having females pay more only benefits the already bloated and disgusting health insurance companies. SO FUCK THEM.

Seriously. FUCK health insurance companies. I've heard so many awful horror stories about it in my own personal life that it makes me thankful ive never had a serious illness (well i did as a kid but that doesnt count).

Honestly anything that hurts health insurance companies im all for. I've had multiple friends have serious issues with health insurance companies completely fucking them over for trivial reasons.

Granted I'm from the US and think Health care should be free and universal for everyone so take that for what you will.

#10 Posted by Rick_Fingers (524 posts) -

Eh while you make an interesting argument, it falls apart when you then start discussing genetics, etc, and that's a slippery slope I think it's worth absorbing extra cost for as a man.

Of course, I'm married and we share all our money anyway and have combined cover, so it probably matters less to me, especially when you consider I also live in a country with a decent public and reasonable private health system

#11 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3749 posts) -

@christoffer said:

Wait, help me out here. According to this doctor, women have more body-parts to keep in check than men by nature (nothing they can help). Why should they pay more? Being an over-confident or more aggressive driver could be helped, couldn't it? That's the small, but important, diffrence.

It could be helped, but at the same time it couldn't possibly be helped. For example, if our government were to launch a massive awareness campaign to say say to men "hey, stop driving dangerously, you're costing all men more on their insurance," it would be about as effective as launching an awareness program telling women to stop having health issues that specifically relate to their gender. Hell, we can't even get either sex to take their eyes off their fucking phones while driving through intersections.

It doesn't matter how good of a driver I am, women are statistically safer drivers, and I have to pay more because I am a man, because men statistically use more of their insurance benefits. If men as a gender are naturally more aggressive drivers, that can no more be helped than men being born with a penis. Call it genetics, or call it a systemic gender issue, but either way it's not going to change.

And speaking of cars, women do end up paying more when buying cars themselves, and that really does suck. There's nothing statistical about that, other than the fact that car dealers suck, and ask women to pay higher initial amounts than men. I'm sure many of those guys really are twirling their mustaches, and I say that with no sarcasm.

#12 Edited by leebmx (2244 posts) -

So glad we have the NHS in this country and don't even have to think about bullshit like this...

Health is human right not a fucking business...

Also comparing car insurance to health insurance is crazy. Men's premiums are higher because they drive recklessly and cause more crashes. Women's health doesn't cost more because they are reckless with their health. They can't help having ovaries, breasts and babies, I don't think they should be punished for it.

#13 Edited by TruthTellah (9129 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: This is a bad poll, man. You poisoned the well from the start.

I don't know why anyone would like to imitate biased polls that ask things like, "Do you support the sanctity of a woman's body? Or do you think women are sub-human cattle? Is it possible you hate freedom and puppies as well?"

If you actually care about this topic and getting the honest opinions of others, please consider putting more thought into how you make posts like this. Doing it like this just does a disservice to any position you're promoting and anyone who might potentially agree with you.

#14 Edited by leebmx (2244 posts) -

@christoffer said:

Wait, help me out here. According to this doctor, women have more body-parts to keep in check than men by nature (nothing they can help). Why should they pay more? Being an over-confident or more aggressive driver could be helped, couldn't it? That's the small, but important, diffrence.

It could be helped, but at the same time it couldn't possibly be helped. For example, if our government were to launch a massive awareness campaign to say say to men "hey, stop driving dangerously, you're costing all men more on their insurance," it would be about as effective as launching an awareness program telling women to stop having health issues that specifically relate to their gender. Hell, we can't even get either sex to take their eyes off their fucking phones while driving through intersections.

It doesn't matter how good of a driver I am, women are statistically safer drivers, and I have to pay more because I am a man, because men statistically use more of their insurance benefits. If men as a gender are naturally more aggressive drivers, that can no more be helped than men being born with a penis. Call it genetics, or call it a systemic gender issue, but either way it's not going to change.

And speaking of cars, women do end up paying more when buying cars themselves, and that really does suck. There's nothing statistical about that, other than the fact that car dealers suck, and ask women to pay higher initial amounts than men. I'm sure many of those guys really are twirling their mustaches, and I say that with no sarcasm.

OK so next time you get run over by a man, or have your car wrecked by a man, I expect you to get out of your steaming, bashed up vehicle and say 'its not your fault, you couldn't help it you're a man.'

I suppose the same reasoning applies to rape and violence. People are responsible in a general sense for their actions, they are not responsible for their body parts. I can't believe you are saying that women should pay more because they have babies. Y'know the thing which keeps the humans race going and which needs a man to get it started.

#15 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3749 posts) -

Having females pay more only benefits the already bloated and disgusting health insurance companies. SO FUCK THEM.

Which of the following do you feel is more likely:

1) Insurance companies just EAT the costs, they lower premiums across the board, and nothing else changes.

2) The CEO takes a massive paycut so they don't have to fire anyone.

3) Massive layoffs because there is less money coming in.

4) Health insurance companies balance premiums by charging men exactly what they already charge women. Women do not pay any less than they did, but men pay more.

Seriously, how do you think business works? "SO FUCK THEM" pretty much ALWAYS leads to "them" being the company, it's employees, and it's customers. At best, this will cause insurance companies to raise prices for men, and lower them for women until they pay the same thing. There's no "fuck them" about it.

Granted I'm from the US and think Health care should be free and universal for everyone so take that for what you will.

I once talked to a British friend of mine who told me how when he was living in the UK, he waited months to see a dentist. He was in horrible pain, but it wasn't anything that threatened his life, so he was forced to wait until his free and universal health care program could make the time to see him.

You should remember that story the next time you think free healthcare doesn't have massive disadvantages.

#16 Edited by Scampbell (498 posts) -

When living in a country with universal health care issues like this seems completely absurd.

#17 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@clonedzero said:

Having females pay more only benefits the already bloated and disgusting health insurance companies. SO FUCK THEM.

Which of the following do you feel is more likely:

1) Insurance companies just EAT the costs, they lower premiums across the board, and nothing else changes.

2) The CEO takes a massive paycut so they don't have to fire anyone.

3) Massive layoffs because there is less money coming in.

4) Health insurance companies balance premiums by charging men exactly what they already charge women. Women do not pay any less than they did, but men pay more.

Seriously, how do you think business works? "SO FUCK THEM" pretty much ALWAYS leads to "them" being the company, it's employees, and it's customers. At best, this will cause insurance companies to raise prices for men, and lower them for women until they pay the same thing. There's no "fuck them" about it.

@clonedzero said:

Granted I'm from the US and think Health care should be free and universal for everyone so take that for what you will.

I once talked to a British friend of mine who told me how when he was living in the UK, he waited months to see a dentist. He was in horrible pain, but it wasn't anything that threatened his life, so he was forced to wait until his free and universal health care program could make the time to see him.

You should remember that story the next time you think free healthcare doesn't have massive disadvantages.

Well uh, since pretty much every US health insurance company is doing great i'll ignore the whole "waah COES EAT THE COSTS" thing.

again CEO's are massively over paid so i dont give a shit. Seriously who gives a shit about CEO's in these discussions? the dude can have 2 private jets instead of three, booo hooo.

massive layoffs comes from poor management. (see earlier)

thats just as dumb and wont happen.

I know people from places that have free health care. Your example seems to be an extreme case. used mostly for trivial internet arguments. Saying health care isn't something we shouldnt strive to give everyone is disgusting and selfish. If we can spend billions on pointless unnecessary military tech, then we can probably spend that on medical care instead and be fine.

#18 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3749 posts) -

@leebmx said:

OK so next time you get run over by a man, or have your car wrecked by a man, I expect you to get out of your steaming, bashed up vehicle and say 'its not your fault, you couldn't help it you're a man.'

Actually, it's more like "Yeah, it figures you would be a man. Statistically you would be. Well, that's why we pay more for car insurance." There's no "not your fault" involved.

I can do something about my driving. The guy who hit me could do something about his driving. But us two guys are not who our insurance premiums are based on. Neither of us can control the driving habits of the over 150 million men in the US, anymore than women can control having health issues that relate to their gender. These are both issues out of our control.

#19 Posted by Christoffer (1824 posts) -

@christoffer said:

Wait, help me out here. According to this doctor, women have more body-parts to keep in check than men by nature (nothing they can help). Why should they pay more? Being an over-confident or more aggressive driver could be helped, couldn't it? That's the small, but important, diffrence.

It could be helped, but at the same time it couldn't possibly be helped. For example, if our government were to launch a massive awareness campaign to say say to men "hey, stop driving dangerously, you're costing all men more on their insurance," it would be about as effective as launching an awareness program telling women to stop having health issues that specifically relate to their gender. Hell, we can't even get either sex to take their eyes off their fucking phones while driving through intersections.

It doesn't matter how good of a driver I am, women are statistically safer drivers, and I have to pay more because I am a man, because men statistically use more of their insurance benefits. If men as a gender are naturally more aggressive drivers, that can no more be helped than men being born with a penis. Call it genetics, or call it a systemic gender issue, but either way it's not going to change.

And speaking of cars, women do end up paying more when buying cars themselves, and that really does suck. There's nothing statistical about that, other than the fact that car dealers suck, and ask women to pay higher initial amounts than men. I'm sure many of those guys really are twirling their mustaches, and I say that with no sarcasm.

There's a vast difference between genetics and systemic gender issues (given I understand correctly what you mean by that). The first is nature, the second one is our perception of the gender roles which differ between people, culture and time.

I have nothing to say about the car prices. Car dealers suck, and so does insurance companies. I'm not here to defend anyone, just wanted to say I didn't agree your reasoning of inequality.

#20 Edited by Marokai (2983 posts) -

@rick_fingers said:

Eh while you make an interesting argument, it falls apart when you then start discussing genetics, etc, and that's a slippery slope I think it's worth absorbing extra cost for as a man.

^ This. It's a compelling and reasonable argument at first glance; women do have more health requirements than men do, and thus have more risks to cover, but this is nothing they can help, and this logic is far too easy to abuse. Red-heads are more likely to get skin cancer and skin disorders, should they pay more? If blacks are more likely to have certain diseases and illnesses, should they pay more? Should the overweight pay more?

It's too easy to go down the dehumanizing path of "if x group requires more of x, shouldn't they pay more?" and not really too trivial in the grand scheme of things to dodge that whole ethical quagmire and simply cover everyone at a roughly equal and reasonable cost. This is, afterall, the whole debate over "pre-existing conditions" in a nutshell, right? My brother has diabetes; I don't think that should prevent him from having health insurance like anyone else.

Though, granted, if you're going to approach health insurance from the perspective of someone who treats it as a for-profit transaction, it perhaps does make perfect business sense to charge certain people more for certain things. But I don't believe that. Healthcare for all of us, as cheap as reasonably possible. It's not a men-women thing as much as it's a human thing.

Online
#21 Edited by CaLe (3988 posts) -

Many women feel it necessary buy make-up and toiletries, without which they would become depressed and ultimately have to spend more on health care. I think it balances out.

#22 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3749 posts) -

@clonedzero said:

again CEO's are massively over paid so i dont give a shit. Seriously who gives a shit about CEO's in these discussions? the dude can have 2 private jets instead of three, booo hooo.
massive layoffs comes from poor management. (see earlier)
Your example seems to be an extreme case. used mostly for trivial internet arguments. Saying health care isn't something we shouldnt strive to give everyone is disgusting and selfish. If we can spend billions on pointless unnecessary military tech, then we can probably spend that on medical care instead and be fine.

My example is the only example I have from the only British guy I've ever known in real life, who told me the story himself.

And the point of the CEO choice wasn't to inspire sympathy for him. It was to explain that the rich STAY rich, and they will frequently do so at the expense of others. If you think you are going to fine a company, or raise taxes on the wealthy, or force a company to somehow lower their profits, or do anything that hurts any company and not expect that shit to slide down the hill to the workers below, you are mistaken.

@marokai said:

@rick_fingers said:

Eh while you make an interesting argument, it falls apart when you then start discussing genetics, etc, and that's a slippery slope I think it's worth absorbing extra cost for as a man.

It's too easy to go down the dehumanizing path of "if x group requires more of x, shouldn't they pay more?" and not really too trivial in the grand scheme of things to dodge that whole ethical quagmire and simply cover everyone at a roughly equal and reasonable cost. This is, afterall, the whole debate over "pre-existing conditions" in a nutshell, right? My brother has diabetes; I don't think that should prevent him from having health insurance like anyone else.

Though, granted, if you're going to approach health insurance from the perspective of someone who treats it as a for-profit transaction, it perhaps does make perfect business sense to charge certain people more for certain things. But I don't believe that.

I can absolutely see where you are coming from here, but a large problem arises when you don't allow discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. If loads of people can hop into the system at any time and reap the benefits, then why be part of the healthcare system until you need to be? And if people only use the system when they need it, the system doesn't work anymore.

Insurance, in a very real way, is a form of gambling. Only instead of gambling for profit, you're gambling for protection. Casinos make money from people spending more than they win. It's awesome for that lucky so and so who hits the jackpot on the slot machine, but not as great for everyone who just loses money. If Casinos allowed people to just play with pretend money until they hit the jackpot, and then claim "that last one was for real, so I'll start paying you now," there wouldn't be any casinos in operation.

Not having insurance is also, in a very real way, a form of gambling. Only instead of gambling for protection, you're gambling for profit. You are making a bet that nothing bad is going to happen to your health, and if you win, you get to keep the money that you would have otherwise spent. Unless your brother was born with diabetes, he lost that bet, and I'm seriously quite sorry about that. It's an awful thing to hear, but it's how the system has to work for the system to actually work.

The other option is universal healthcare, and FORCING everyone to pay for insurance. But even supporting that is a form of gambling, as you're trusting the government to take care of your healthcare needs by using your money. The same government who already takes your money for social security, and has done a pretty crappy job making sure that money will still be there for me when I retire, and my children when they retire.

#23 Edited by Freshbandito (686 posts) -

Penises are well they generally handle themselves - Clonedzero 2013

This sentence is the only thing worth reading in this thread.

Not touching the rest of it with a 10 foot pole.

#24 Edited by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

Men pay more for car insurance so its not like insurance companies are afraid to charge genders differently.

#25 Edited by Flappy (2262 posts) -

This website has become the HUB for all talks regarding sexism and inequality.

I miss the conspiracy theorists and Matt Kessler/B.Nicholson hate threads.

Online
#26 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3749 posts) -
@truthtellah said:

@spaceinsomniac: This is a bad poll, man. You poisoned the well from the start.

If you actually care about this topic and getting the honest opinions of others, please consider putting more thought into how you make posts like this. Doing it like this just does a disservice to any position you're promoting and anyone who might potentially agree with you.

@davidwitten22 said:

Men pay more for car insurance so its not like insurance companies are afraid to charge genders differently.

This is why I went with my somewhat biased poll choices. For people who see a thread title and vote before reading any of the actual thread, or even as far as the second paragraph of the first post. Heck, if I saw a poll asking "should women pay more for healthcare?" with just yes or no answers, even my first reaction would be to vote no.

For more on why I worded things the way I did, see the fifth post of this thread. And again, I don't believe that there is anything shameful or insulting about the the wording of that second poll choice.

#27 Posted by egg (1467 posts) -

Women didn't choose to be women. Maybe that's the feminist argument here. The fact they are women is being monetized.

#28 Edited by TruthTellah (9129 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

@spaceinsomniac: This is a bad poll, man. You poisoned the well from the start.

If you actually care about this topic and getting the honest opinions of others, please consider putting more thought into how you make posts like this. Doing it like this just does a disservice to any position you're promoting and anyone who might potentially agree with you.

@davidwitten22 said:

Men pay more for car insurance so its not like insurance companies are afraid to charge genders differently.

This is why I went with my "biased" poll choices. For people who see a thread title and vote before reading any of the actual thread, or even as far as the second paragraph of the first post. Heck, if I saw a poll asking "should women pay more for healthcare?" with just yes or no answers, even my first reaction would be to vote no.

For more on why I worded things the way I did, see the fifth post of this thread. And again, I don't believe that there is anything shameful or insulting about the the wording of that second poll choice.

So, because of your low faith in those you're trying to share opinions with, you made a purposefully poor poll?

I just think it's a very questionable way to solicit opinions. Why even make a poll at all if you have no respect for or interest in any answer beside your preferred one? It seems to me that this should have just been a blog post called "Why Women Should Pay More for Health Insurance" and leave out the unfortunate impression someone might have that this is a genuine attempt at getting and discussing people's opinions.

#29 Edited by Brodehouse (9953 posts) -

If whites on average drove more safely than blacks, should a white person expect to receive a lower rate because of the actions of other members of their race? Then why would that be remotely appropriate when it comes to gender? Why would anyone expect to receive a lower (or higher) rate because of the actions of other people merely because you share race, gender, ethnicity, age or religion?

So I suppose my answer is no. In countries with free healthcare, women should not receive a charge where men do not, at least not because they're women. In countries where the healthcare is free enterprise, frankly they can do whatever they want until the people demand healthcare be a right they receive with their citizenship and following the law. But for countries with social medicine, I don't believe there is any stated limit of how much healthcare you can receive, and you don't receive a reimbursement check for healthcare you didn't use. If a man wants to receive a share of healthcare equal with the average woman, I guess he can book more appointments.

If this was reversed you would immediately have feminists refusing to pay taxes because women aren't receiving their fair share of service.

@egg said:

Women didn't choose to be women. Maybe that's the feminist argument here. The fact they are women is being monetized.

But... men did?

#30 Edited by leinad44 (517 posts) -

I clicked on here to see if people actually clicked yes......oh dear

#31 Edited by falserelic (5437 posts) -

This thread reminded me of a girl I met back in high school, ugh...she was sadistic. I still remember when she grabbed my crotch and squeezed it. Her fucking nails started ripping my skin it was a bad experience.

#32 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3749 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

@spaceinsomniac said:
@truthtellah said:

@spaceinsomniac: This is a bad poll, man. You poisoned the well from the start.

If you actually care about this topic and getting the honest opinions of others, please consider putting more thought into how you make posts like this. Doing it like this just does a disservice to any position you're promoting and anyone who might potentially agree with you.

@davidwitten22 said:

Men pay more for car insurance so its not like insurance companies are afraid to charge genders differently.

This is why I went with my somewhat biased poll choices. For people who see a thread title and vote before reading any of the actual thread, or even as far as the second paragraph of the first post. Heck, if I saw a poll asking "should women pay more for healthcare?" with just yes or no answers, even my first reaction would be to vote no.

For more on why I worded things the way I did, see the fifth post of this thread. And again, I don't believe that there is anything shameful or insulting about the the wording of that second poll choice.

So, because of your low faith in those you're trying to share opinions with, you made a purposefully poor poll?

I just think it's a very questionable way to solicit opinions. Why even make a poll at all if you have no respect for or interest in any answer beside your preferred one? It seems to me that this should have just been a blog post called "Why Women Should Pay More for Health Insurance" and leave out the unfortunate impression someone might have that this is a genuine attempt at getting and discussing people's opinions.

If you feel that I made a purposefully poor poll, then I disagree. If you feel that the second poll choice is in anyway disrespectful, then I disagree. And if you have inferred that I have no respect for opinions or arguments other than my own, then all I can say is that you are wrong.

But I still respect your opinion. Speaking of which, out of curiosity, what would your poll options have said?

If whites on average drove more safely than blacks, should a white person expect to receive a lower rate because of the actions of other members of their race? Then why would that be remotely appropriate when it comes to gender? Why would anyone expect to receive a lower (or higher) rate because of the actions of other people merely because you share race, gender, ethnicity, age or religion?

AGE. There it is, right there. That is why I included it as a poll option. I knew some people would feel that way, but I bet quite a few would disagree when it comes to tying it in with gender, race, or religion. It's part of what makes this an interesting topic.

If this was reversed you would immediately have feminists refusing to pay taxes because women aren't receiving their fair share of service.

But it is reversed when it comes to car insurance, as stated in the first post and a few times throughout this thread. And it's not at all about not receiving health services, it's about paying more for those services.

#33 Posted by Dixavd (1358 posts) -

I don't think insurance should work on generalizations. It should be specific, case by case. If it ends up that overall women end up paying more, than that's fine; but it shouldn't be tipped that way from the start. For instance, if gender can be correlated to a specific health problem, that doesn't mean you can say every person of that gender is more of a risk. It should depend on previous health issues and other family members (and place of residence, and job, etc...). There are just so many variables for each case, inputting in instant fee from something that is so minor (and uncontrollable, yet pervasive to half the population of the planet) seems like a quick way to incentivise lazy insurers to cut corners.

Here in the UK for example, house insurers were given the right to skew insurance costs based purely on post code (instead of looking at each residence, case by case). This lead to three problems: first, insurers simply increased prices (no one payed less out of it); secondly, with them working together (at least indirectly, using the same statistics and surveyors) it lead to less competition between insurers; and thirdly, it lead to many inconsistencies which made the entire system look ridiculous. One such case was of a man who had an extremely high flood-risk cost due to his postcode, but he lived on top of a hill, tens-of-meters from the level of any surrounding river (a couple "lower-risk" postcodes would have to be completely flooded before it would affect his building). A similar affect could easily occur with giving a very broad power to insurers. It doesn't even have to be a legal power; once it's implied that one can do it, the others will follow.

#34 Posted by Oni (2099 posts) -

No. But I assume this thread is about the USA and your system is all kinds of fucked anyway so fuck it, why not.

In a regular society where everyone gets health insurance, no. That shit is ridiculous.

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#35 Posted by shinjin977 (761 posts) -

just go the universal healthcare route. Just look at Hong Kong for example.

#36 Edited by believer258 (11928 posts) -

Probably not.

The car insurance thing sounds irrelevant. Men pay more for car insurance because they tend to be reckless drivers. That's not fair, of course, but there is the fact that reckless driving is a choice.

Also, does anyone know if there's any statistics on how often women drive vs. how often men drive? Stereotypically, men in a relationship do the driving, but that's of course a stereotype. I'm wondering if there's any truth to it.

#37 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3749 posts) -

@oni said:

No. But I assume this thread is about the USA and your system is all kinds of fucked anyway so fuck it, why not.

In a regular society where everyone gets health insurance, no. That shit is ridiculous.

As I said before in this thread:

The other option is universal healthcare, and FORCING everyone to pay for insurance. But even supporting that is a form of gambling, as you're trusting the government to take care of your healthcare needs by using your money. The same government who already takes your money for social security, and has done a pretty crappy job of making sure that money will still be there for me when I retire, and my children when they retire.

Maybe your government isn't the colossal bunch of screw-ups that our country is when it comes to handling the money of our citizens. If that's true, more power to you.

Also, does anyone know if there's any statistics on how often women drive vs. how often men drive? Stereotypically, men in a relationship do the driving, but that's of course a stereotype. I'm wondering if there's any truth to it.

Also stereotypically, women run more errands than men, but men commute to and from work more if they're a single income family. Although you raise a very interesting point, and I have to wonder now what the actual numbers are. I can think of some good arguments for both.

#38 Posted by JadeGL (876 posts) -

No. Insurance is about putting in your share so that when you need it, you can get the treatment you need. I don't feel bad that all the money I have put into insurance over the years is going to pay for prostate cancer treatments, etc. It is spread out between everyone. I pay for your health issues, and eventually a piece of your share will pay for mine. Such is life.

As a mysterious "woman" I have health insurance and I will tell you one thing, I use not that much of what I put into it. I have one yearly check up, get my 1 prescription renewed, and that's about it. The one time I had a health issue, it was an issue that effects BOTH men and women and was something that was a complete surprise to me considering how generally healthy I was/still am.

It's interesting that this debate is happening I suppose. Of course most people are pointing to the issues of having children and that sort of thing as the main added cost and why women should pay more. Also that women live longer and have more check ups. Of course, you could say that men, if they had more check ups and properly used their insurance, would maybe live longer and then this debate would be minimized on two fronts. I speak from experience. The men I know tend to wait to have a catastrophic health issue before seeking medical advice, while I take the more pragmatic approach of saying "Well, I am paying for the service, why not use it!" Who is "right" in that situation? My father drove himself to the hospital while having a heart attack (that he had been having for some amount of time before deciding he needed to go see someone about it) and ended up in an ICU for weeks. My husband, though he is on my insurance plan, still hasn't gone for a check up, taking the approach that he is fine and healthy, so why bother going? Should I pay more because I use what I am paying for? Should I pay more because there is a chance I may have children or may live longer than my husband? Should my husband also share those costs? He is a man, but he would inevitably be sharing these increased household expenses, is that fair to him?

This is a slippery slope that I don't want to go down. It's like people who pay property taxes complaining that they pay for upkeep of local schools when they have no children. I have no problem paying for services I don't use because, in the end, I may need them one day. That's what a society does. We put our money in the kitty to make sure that we have insurance when we have a medical problem, or that fire trucks will come to our houses to put out the raging fires, or that police will arrest the person that stole our stereos, or that the schools will have books and be properly heated and cooled when we finally have children and have to send them out to learn. If we start charging more for certain people, it won't end. If I pay more, then why can't I complain about smokers or obese people using even more of the healthcare, or older people, or people with chronic conditions or people with downs syndrome, on and on.

This isn't a black and white issue of - you take more, you pay more. It's much more complicated than that and breaking it down in this way is just begging for people to start forcing people to pay more or excluding people based on age/genetics/race/lifestyle choices or gender.

Moderator
#39 Edited by mtcantor (948 posts) -

Oh good. Can we all start talking about Anita Sarkeesian too while we are at it?

Here's an idea: all people should have health insurance, we should all pay the same amount into it. The numbers work out perfectly fine that way. Dividing people into sub groups isn't helpful in any way.

#40 Posted by EpicSteve (6487 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: Don't men pay more for auto insurance or is that just a myth? But woman are a greater risk to health insurance. From a business perspective, I wouldn't blame them for charging more.

#41 Edited by Brendan (7813 posts) -

Hey, to everyone talking about how men deserve to pay more for car insurance because reckless driving is a choice: Its not a choice I make. Just as all women don't deserve to be punished for statistical probabilities, neither should men.

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#42 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

Females are significantly under represented in medical research (Google 'gender bias in medical research') this leads to less effective diagnosis and treatment of women when they require medical attention. Which leads to high costs and longer times in treatment, the same can be seen when there are health issues that are regional or racial variants.

Fun side note: A recent test for determining a significantly relevant genetic disposition towards breast cancer just had it's patent revoked. Before that since it was a patented test for CANCER the company running the test charged $3000+ for it, now that the supreme court overturned the patented it's under $300. (Google 'BRCA1' the gene in question)

Women also typically live a few more years then men, medical costs are not linear, these extra few years skew the cost of lifetime medical care significantly.

Anyway, if you sourced 'Fox News' your argument is invalid.

#43 Edited by davidh219 (187 posts) -

The way people are getting so worked up makes me lol. Yes it's fucked up for women to pay more, but it also makes total sense when health insurance is a private business, as it is in the US. Private health insurance is the problem, not some massive sexist conspiracy. Hell, the way things are in this country right now, all you women should thank the heavens that maternity leave still exists in some form, and that even if it doesn't your employer won't fire you for having a baby. That's the kinda shit that's going on in Japan right now, and guess what happened? Women stopped getting married and having kids, and now Japan has a shrinking population that has turned into a national crisis.

Capitalism and business do not play well with the human reproductive cycle. It's so fucked. Everything is so fucked. I wish we could all live in Sweden. Goddammit.

#44 Edited by EpicSteve (6487 posts) -

The issue when it comes to gender problems seems to be people want women to have the best of both worlds. They want same prices health insurance, but women cost more money to take care of. Yet, men cost more money on driving but no one complains. Like the whole military situation but it gets weird for folks imagining women signing for the draft.

#45 Edited by JadeGL (876 posts) -

@brendan: Exactly. Just because there is a fucked up practice in one area doesn't mean there should be a fucked up practice in another area to "balance" it or whatever. Insurance is messed up enough as it is, so much so that there have been laws passed in the United States to make sure that insurance companies don't screw people over based on various factors, see the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act that was approved in 2008.

So I suppose you (people who think women should pay more) are all for repealing this legislation and charging people more money for their premiums based on the diseases they may some day develop because of a genetic predisposition?

I will make sure to tell my future son that he should be prepared to pay more based on my family history of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

What's fair is fair, right?

Moderator
#46 Posted by Korolev (1709 posts) -

Hm. I haven't done the research, but I know about health care to some degree (I am a medical student), and it isn't so clear cut as to say that women use "more" resources than men. Women are more likely to go to the doctor, yes - but they are also less likely to have Myocardial Infarcts, less likely to get traumatic injuries, less likely to smoke (although that is changing) and less likely get all sorts of cancers.

It's not so simple as this doctor is saying - men and women have different risks associated with different diseases. Women, for instance, are far more likely to develop Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, whereas men are more likely to get Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Women are far more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease in old age, whereas Men are less likely to even get to the necessary age because they've smoked, drank and eaten their way to an early grave (but they also burden the health care system with their unhealthy lifestyle).

Who can be sure that women "cost more" to look after? Is this (ONE) doctor taking into account all lifestyle factors, auto-immune diseases, cancer rates, treatment options, ethnic backgrounds - I mean, women are more likely to get Multiple Sclerosis, but caucasian women are far more likely to get it. So should a Chinese or African woman get a discount? Ah, but they are more likely to suffer from, say, diabetes and pancreatic cancer, which costs a bunch to take care of. It's not so simple as to say "women cost more!". I'm not going to take this ONE doctor's word for it. He's a urologist, as well, and that will probably twist his views as he'd see more female patients than male patients. I'd be interested to see if an Oncologist or a Cardiologist would share his views.

#47 Posted by depecheload (496 posts) -

Should overweight people pay more for insurance?
Should older people pay more for insurance?
Should poorer people pay more for insurance?
Should people in areas with more air pollution pay more for insurance?
Should people who work in manual labor pay more for insurance?
Should people with high-stress jobs pay more for insurance?
Should people with a family history of health problems pay more for insurance?

Slope. It's slippery.

The actual right answer is no. No one should pay more for insurance. And if you want to get technical, no one should be paying for "insurance" at all, since the American insurance system is a broken mess that exists solely to make a profit off of denying coverage and letting people die. We should all (equally) be paying for a socialized medicine option ala Japan's insurance, which is ranked number 1 in the world and, unlike Canada's or the UK's systems, has not been bled dry by lobbyists and special interest groups hell-bent on marginalizing and destroying the system in order to help their own bottom line at the sake of the middle-class.

But hey, thanks for playing "I've fallen into a trap laid by special interest groups in the hopes that I'll be distracted from the real villains and problems of the world and just blame [insert minority/marginalized/other group] instead!" You win poor health coverage, a decreased intelligence, and thought pattern of reactionary thinking that helps no one.

#48 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5500 posts) -

Should women be beaten to death at random?

#49 Posted by Mofaz (45 posts) -

If you seriously need anyone to explain to you why this is an utter non-question unless you're a complete moron, then you probably shouldn't be worrying about things like this.

These results for this poll are incredibly depressing. I had no idea there were so many people who thought human beings should pay more to live healthy lives because they happen to have a vagina.

#50 Posted by Korolev (1709 posts) -

And if you start making women pay more for Health Insurance because they "use" more resources (which is a claim of dubious quality), are you going to make Down Syndrome kids' parents pay more? Down Syndrome patients will inevitably develop serious health problems and early onset Alzheimer's - should they foot the bill?

What about people born with a DR3/4 haplotype? They are more at risk of developing diabetes, which is a real "cost-driver" as we call it. Should everyone be forced to take a blood-test and those with the DR3/4 haplotype pay more? DR2 is protective against Diabetes - maybe they should get a lower premium!

I understand that resources have to be rationed and costs distributed - up to a point. In my medical ethics class, we don't totally go by stats all the time, and we are taught that we need to, on some level, treat people as individuals. Yes, we sometimes use stats to predict population health and trends and all that - but we don't treat individuals as if they are representatives of their particular group all the time. Ethical medical treatment is a balance between generalization and individual circumstances.

Women should not be forced to pay more. Unless you want certain ethnic groups to pay more or people with certain genes to pay more. Don't head down that path.