Jared Bernstein, in another excellent article, points out that Republican statements on health care and other aspects of the “social safety net” betray (or portray) an essential misunderstanding of how insurance works.
It’s like the old joke about life insurance: You’re betting you’re going to die, the insurance company is betting you won’t, and you hope they are right.
The purpose of experience is to spread risk so that each person bears a little tine bit of the cost so that, if someone needs assistance, the assistance is available without crushing expense. In contrast, Republicans seem to believe that crushing persons who do not have buckets of money under mountains of cost is somehow a good and moral thing.
Of course, that might seem reasonable to those who believe that there is no such thing as the common good. Here’s a bit from the article (emphasis added):
That’s kind of a description about how insurance works.
Two things, at least. First, I do think today’s conservatives are uniquely uneducated when it comes to the role of government in mitigating risk. But second, the old Upton Sinclair insight about people being paid not to understand something is also very much in play.