Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What If You Had A Fire And Nobody Came?

What if your homes fire insurance was handled like your health insurance. Instead of today's socialist system where local government provides fire protection as a public service, suppose you had to subscribe to a fire insurance plan with a for-profit company. How would that company treat you to maximize its profits?

XYZ Fire Service Customer Support: (recorded message) "Thank you for calling XYZ Fire Service. If this is a fire emergency, please press one, if this is a medical emergency, please press two."

Caller/Subscriber: (presses one)

XYZ: "Thank you, please wait why we connect you."

Caller: (listening to bad elevator music while call gets re-routed to call center in Mumbai, India.)

XYZ: (recorded message) "We're sorry, due to the unexpected high volume of calls, please stand by for the next available operator."

Caller: (listens to more bad elevator music while watching flames spread. 30 seconds later....)

XYZ: "XYZ Insurance, how can I help you?"

Caller: "My house is on fire and I need help now."

XYZ: "Yes sir, can I have your account number please?"

Caller: "My account number, my house is burning to the ground."

XYZ: "I understand sir, but I need to confirm you're a valid XYZ subscriber."

Caller: "Very well, it's 123-XXX-XXXXX-XXXX."

XYZ: "Thank you sir, now where did the fire start?"

Caller: "In my kitchen, are you sending fire trucks yet?"

XYZ: "One moment sir. Did you say it started in the kitchen? Was this a stove fire?"

Caller: "Yes, my wife was cooking dinner when it started. It spread into the exhaust duct and into the attic."

XYZ: "Sir, XYZ Insurance considers stove fires to be consumer negligence. We also consider the fire in the duct work to be caused by a pre-existing condition, namely grease, and as a result we must rescind your policy at this time."

Caller: "What do you mean rescind? I've been paying you for over 15 years without a claim."

XYZ: "I do apologize sir, but if you check the fine print in your subscription contract, it's all spelled out there. If you feel you are being treated badly, here's our 800 number to register a complaint. 1-800-XXX-XXXX."

The house is now completely engulfed in flames.

Caller: "I can't believe you're cancelling my insurance just when I need it."

XYZ: XYZ deeply regrets your loss, but that is our policy. If there is nothing else, thank you for being a loyal XYZ Fire Insurance customer for all these years."

Caller: "Bastards!" (as he watches his home turn into ash.)

The next time someone you know has been brain-washed by FOX (Faux News Channel) into railing against socialism, ask them how they would like to be the caller in our little story. Sound far fetched? This is exactly how the health insurance companies treat their customers.

If all else fails, suggest they visit the one country with no taxes, no government regulation, no government paid for infrastructure, and no limits on what a person can do. Welcome to the Libertarian paradise of Somalia. Armed street gangs, Warlords, Pirates, and no central government. The Cato Institute must be so proud.

Personally, I believe in socialism for the common good. I want our children schooled. I want fire and police protection. Government regulation is good when it cleans the air and water, let's you eat safe food. Goes after charlatans and rip-off artists. All government services are inherently socialism. Consider the alternative.

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