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Thread: Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act --> Socialism

  1. #1

    Default Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act --> Socialism

    I'm kind of disturbed that it isn't more obvious to everyone why Ron Paul voted "No" on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, so I've stuck the (simplified) reason in a new thread title for all to see. It appears that the emotional taboo associated with anything DNA-related has clouded peoples' ability to think clearly on this issue. If the bill had instead banned insurance companies from discriminating on the basis of weight, then I don't think anyone would be questioning Ron's vote, and yet the issues would be no different.

    True, like most things the federal government regulates these days, there is no authority for it in Article 1 Section 8 of the constitution, and therefore it is a state issue, if a government issue at all.

    But far more importantly, the bill is an assault on your freedom to negotiate with your insurance company and on your ownership of your own DNA. If you have wonderful DNA and would like to show it to your insurance company to argue for a lower premium, then too bad, the government has stepped in and said that isn't fair to those with bad DNA who can't likewise argue for lower premiums. If you were allowed to show insurers your good DNA, then those who *didn't* show their DNA would be suspected of having average or bad DNA and would continue getting higher premiums than you, and we can't have that, because we're all equal, right?

    Well, the unintended consequence (or maybe not-so-unintended) of this bill is higher premiums for almost everyone: insurance companies will be forced to insure high-risk people they would not otherwise insure, or who would otherwise have to pay higher premiums. BUT, the insurance companies won't know *who* these higher-risk people are, so they will have to charge *everyone* higher premiums in order to make up for the losses on the high-risk people. That's equality for you.

    As the premiums go up, of course, the clamoring for socialized medicine will grow, until finally the government steps in and saves the day from the greedy insurance companies who were crippled by the very same government from doing their job well, which was to assess individual health risk and efficiently assign insurance premiums accordingly. It's the same old story: the government screws around with something until the people have no choice but to let the government take it over completely. E.g., the government banned Americans from buying prescription drugs from overseas in the name of "safety", which eliminated competition and drove up domestic drug costs until people finally clamored for Medicare prescription drug coverage.

    If you approve of this bill, then you are essentially supporting uniform premiums for everyone, because the only reason premiums EVER differ from one person to the next is because the insurance companies discriminated based on *something*: age, gender, weight, diet, physical activity, sports, etc. And if you favor uniform premiums for everyone, then there is no need for insurance companies at all, because their expertise is in assessing risk is irrelevant. We might as well have Hillary's or Obama's (and now McCain's) government health care plan.



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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by rp08orbust View Post
    I'm kind of disturbed that it isn't more obvious to everyone why Ron Paul voted "No" on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, so I've stuck the (simplified) reason in a new thread title for all to see. It appears that the emotional taboo associated with anything DNA-related has clouded peoples' ability to think clearly on this issue. If the bill had instead banned insurance companies from discriminating on the basis of weight, then I don't think anyone would be questioning Ron's vote, and yet the issues would be no different.

    True, like most things the federal government regulates these days, there is no authority for it in Article 1 Section 8 of the constitution, and therefore it is a state issue, if a government issue at all.

    But far more importantly, the bill is an assault on your freedom to negotiate with your insurance company and on your ownership of your own DNA. If you have wonderful DNA and would like to show it to your insurance company to argue for a lower premium, then too bad, the government has stepped in and said that isn't fair to those with bad DNA who can't likewise argue for lower premiums. If you were allowed to show insurers your good DNA, then those who *didn't* show their DNA would be suspected of having average or bad DNA and would continue getting higher premiums than you, and we can't have that, because we're all equal, right?

    Well, the unintended consequence (or maybe not-so-unintended) of this bill is higher premiums for almost everyone: insurance companies will be forced to insure high-risk people they would not otherwise insure, or who would otherwise have to pay higher premiums. BUT, the insurance companies won't know *who* these higher-risk people are, so they will have to charge *everyone* higher premiums in order to make up for the losses on the high-risk people. That's equality for you.

    As the premiums go up, of course, the clamoring for socialized medicine will grow, until finally the government steps in and saves the day from the greedy insurance companies who were crippled by the very same government from doing their job well, which was to assess individual health risk and efficiently assign insurance premiums accordingly. It's the same old story: the government screws around with something until the people have no choice but to let the government take it over completely. E.g., the government banned Americans from buying prescription drugs from overseas in the name of "safety", which eliminated competition and drove up domestic drug costs until people finally clamored for Medicare prescription drug coverage.

    If you approve of this bill, then you are essentially supporting uniform premiums for everyone, because the only reason premiums EVER differ from one person to the next is because the insurance companies discriminated based on *something*: age, gender, weight, diet, physical activity, sports, etc. And if you favor uniform premiums for everyone, then there is no need for insurance companies at all, because their expertise is in assessing risk is irrelevant. We might as well have Hillary's or Obama's (and now McCain's) government health care plan.
    So you like eugenics? Because being able to give more benefit to genetically inferior peoples has a name....

    Not saying I disagree with you one way or another... I just hope you have thought out the consequences of a free market health and breeding system.

    "The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment."

    -Bertrand Russell


    I received positive rep for extreme sarcasm from a person who thought I was serious ... please look up Poe's Law

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kade View Post
    So you like eugenics? Because being able to give more benefit to genetically inferior peoples has a name....

    Not saying I disagree with you one way or another... I just hope you have thought out the consequences of a free market health and breeding system.
    So a $2 million dollar home on the beach in central Florida should have the same house insurance premium as a $50,000 home in the middle of say.....South Dakota????


    Or better yet, make the home values the same....should they still have the same premium?
    Quote Originally Posted by malkusm View Post
    McCain/Obama are two sides of the same coin, and it's a coin minted by the Federal Reserve that's going to lose what little value it has very soon.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by IRO-bot View Post
    So a $2 million dollar home on the beach in central Florida should have the same house insurance premium as a $50,000 home in the middle of say.....South Dakota????
    No. What's your point? Why is it a common tactic to try and sound clever by asking a absurdly illogical question as a response to a real question?

    As a counter, are houses of equal comparison to people?

    Are you saying that a human body is comparable in shifting values to homes?

    "The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment."

    -Bertrand Russell


    I received positive rep for extreme sarcasm from a person who thought I was serious ... please look up Poe's Law

  6. #5

    Default

    The Feds should not be interfering with private contracts.

    Corporations are powerless to infringe on one's rights without the coercive hand of government.

  7. #6

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Kade View Post
    No. What's your point? Why is it a common tactic to try and sound clever by asking a absurdly illogical question as a response to a real question?

    As a counter, are houses of equal comparison to people?

    Are you saying that a human body is comparable in shifting values to homes?
    What? You are not making any sense at all.

    An insurance companys job is to take all the information it can and asses the risk of insuring said object.

    House in florida = lots of risk due to hurricanes.
    House in SD = hardly any risk.

    Therefore it should be more expensive premiums for the FL home.


    Human A has diabetes, heart problems, and doesn't exercise
    Human B is fit, no health problems, and excersises daily.


    Human A is at higher risk therefore should have higher premiums.



    Did you get all that? Or do I need to draw a graph for you?
    Quote Originally Posted by malkusm View Post
    McCain/Obama are two sides of the same coin, and it's a coin minted by the Federal Reserve that's going to lose what little value it has very soon.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by IRO-bot View Post
    So a $2 million dollar home on the beach in central Florida should have the same house insurance premium as a $50,000 home in the middle of say.....South Dakota????


    Or better yet, make the home values the same....should they still have the same premium?
    People can choose where to build their home. They can't choose what genes they are born with.

    I don't know about the specifics of this bill, I just think your argument in support of discrimination based on genetics is flawed. It's fundamentally no different from saying an employer should be able to reject hiring black people, because black people commit more crimes, or whatever. At its root, it is collectivism. It's lumping people into a group based on their DNA, rather than on their actions.

  9. #8

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    How is it discrimation? Why should a company be forced to insure an unfit person at the same rate as a fit person.

    Where is the collectivism if you are investing each individual and evaluating their health risks?

    Perhaps I could add more too it. Maybe it is a bit like uh, is it Walter Blocks book? Defending the undefendable.

    What rights are being violated by a company looking at your DNA and judges the risk values associated with it to determine a proper premium value?

    Where in the constitution does it say that a person who owns a company can't hire a white, black, asain, hispanic, or whatever person? Freedom has to be upheld on both spectrums, otherwise it merely becomes a tryanny to someone. I personally don't condone the actions but it should be allowed.

    As such, if someone were to not hire any "blacks", then the black community has a right to not purchase those goods, as well as ask other not to. I myself would hop on the bandwagon and not purchase their goods as well. Then said company might have to look at their sales and see how bad it is affected and make their decision accordingly. If they wanted to be racist asswhole and continue to not do that then they will sufer is the will of the people is to make their profits suffer for their hate.

    I wouldn't force them to hire black people or whoever though. That is how the free market is supposed to work. Government CANNOT legislate morality. How often has Ron Paul said that? Morality comes from yourself and your values and the values tought by your Religion or whatever else.
    Last edited by IRO-bot; 05-02-2008 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Addition.
    Quote Originally Posted by malkusm View Post
    McCain/Obama are two sides of the same coin, and it's a coin minted by the Federal Reserve that's going to lose what little value it has very soon.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by IRO-bot View Post
    What? You are not making any sense at all.

    An insurance companys job is to take all the information it can and asses the risk of insuring said object.

    House in florida = lots of risk due to hurricanes.
    House in SD = hardly any risk.

    Therefore it should be more expensive premiums for the FL home.


    Human A has diabetes, heart problems, and doesn't exercise
    Human B is fit, no health problems, and excersises daily.


    Human A is at higher risk therefore should have higher premiums.



    Did you get all that? Or do I need to draw a graph for you?
    I haven't made any claims either way, your obtuse pandering to a point I have yet to make only exposes the fact that you seem to have taken the side of discrimination, As Sean Edwards points out.

    I do think there is a heavy distinction between willingly unhealthy people versus genetically predetermined unhealthiness. I don't think corporations have the right to that information about someone in general.

    "The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment."

    -Bertrand Russell


    I received positive rep for extreme sarcasm from a person who thought I was serious ... please look up Poe's Law

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kade View Post
    I do think there is a heavy distinction between willingly unhealthy people versus genetically predetermined unhealthiness. I don't think corporations have the right to that information about someone in general.
    Of course they don't--one's DNA is one's own property. But what about those who *want* a corporation to see their DNA because it will get them a lower premium and give it to them voluntarily?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by rp08orbust View Post
    Of course they don't--one's DNA is one's own property. But what about those who *want* a corporation to see their DNA because it will get them a lower premium and give it to them voluntarily?
    Again, I haven't taken a position if you read what I've wrote.

    Your solution seems vastly more reasonable than your ranting lunatic counterpart. I would have to say that I'm more open to that kind of system.

    "The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment."

    -Bertrand Russell


    I received positive rep for extreme sarcasm from a person who thought I was serious ... please look up Poe's Law

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanEdwards View Post
    People can choose where to build their home. They can't choose what genes they are born with.
    So do you think there are any physical attributes an insurance company should be allowed to discriminate on? There are a lot of people who are genetically predisposed to obesity. Should insurance companies be banned from taking weight into account?

  14. #13

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    All DNA does is take the guesswork out of figuring out who is predisposed to certain diseases. By banning DNA, you haven't eliminated the discrimination based on genetics, you've merely made it less accurate, meaning some people will get falsely categorized as genetically at risk while other will get falsely categorized as genetically low-risk. What is the point of that?

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by rp08orbust View Post
    So do you think there are any physical attributes an insurance company should be allowed to discriminate on? There are a lot of people who are genetically predisposed to obesity. Should insurance companies be banned from taking weight into account?
    I think we should stop the war on science in general. I think we will find that there is not such a great tendency towards obesity except for a sedentary lifestyle and overeating.

    "The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment."

    -Bertrand Russell


    I received positive rep for extreme sarcasm from a person who thought I was serious ... please look up Poe's Law

  16. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rp08orbust View Post
    All DNA does is take the guesswork out of figuring out who is predisposed to certain diseases. By banning DNA, you haven't eliminated the discrimination based on genetics, you've merely made it less accurate, meaning some people will get falsely categorized as genetically at risk while other will get falsely categorized as genetically low-risk. What is the point of that?
    That information however is retained by the individual. It should not be passed around or disseminated between corporations without the express approval of the client/customer.

    "The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment."

    -Bertrand Russell


    I received positive rep for extreme sarcasm from a person who thought I was serious ... please look up Poe's Law

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kade View Post
    That information however is retained by the individual. It should not be passed around or disseminated between corporations without the express approval of the client/customer.
    I agree.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanEdwards View Post
    People can choose where to build their home. They can't choose what genes they are born with.

    I don't know about the specifics of this bill, I just think your argument in support of discrimination based on genetics is flawed. It's fundamentally no different from saying an employer should be able to reject hiring black people, because black people commit more crimes, or whatever. At its root, it is collectivism. It's lumping people into a group based on their DNA, rather than on their actions.
    But at the end of the day a persons health and DNA when they are born will play a large role in how long they live. Even outside of insurance, it's not fair it all, but that's how it is. I really don't think it's wise to to try and create laws and polices that defy the terms of our existence.

    At the same time, I also think insurance is bullshit as far as being a legitimate business so my opinion probably isn't worth much for this question. Insurance is just a form of gambling, and in terms of life insurance people are simply born with different odds than others. They are always going to look at the odds and control the process to ensure they make money. Just like any casino will look at the odds of each game and price the bets and potential rewards accordingly. They will continue to make money or they will cease to exist, and as long as they exist someone will being paying the higher price for those who have disappointing odds, always.

    Also, physical discrimination happens all of the time in terms of employment, it can't really be avoided. At some point though this could really destroy our society with the emergence of genetic technology. Here you have the potential where people could engineer themselves, or more likely their children, to have the best possible appearance, intelligence, and health. This process will of course be very expensive and if discrimination continues they will also be getting the best jobs and making the most money. Could bring a whole new meaning to the "powerful elite".

  19. #18

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    DNA is specific to each individual and the government doesn't approve of companies seeing the individual. Eugenics is only evil when it is forced. Why are screwing your hot girlfriend instead of the fat one over at the bar? You're promoting eugenics. Hypocrites.

    To those defending this act, how come my car insurance company charges me more for having a dick? It's just because I have a Y chromosome so that's genetic discrimination. It doesn't mean they know I will get in a car accident. Hypocrites.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoDas View Post
    To those defending this act, how come my car insurance company charges me more for having a dick?
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but does Ron Jeremy pay higher premiums than John Bobbitt?
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Emanuel Watkins View Post
    A fart is change. Our founding fathers did a lot more than just fart.

  21. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AutoDas View Post
    DNA is specific to each individual and the government doesn't approve of companies seeing the individual. Eugenics is only evil when it is forced. Why are screwing your hot girlfriend instead of the fat one over at the bar? You're promoting eugenics. Hypocrites.

    To those defending this act, how come my car insurance company charges me more for having a dick? It's just because I have a Y chromosome so that's genetic discrimination. It doesn't mean they know I will get in a car accident. Hypocrites.
    You should be flagged for this.

    I'm getting nailed for much less.

    Nobody is actually really disagreeing with you...

    "The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment."

    -Bertrand Russell


    I received positive rep for extreme sarcasm from a person who thought I was serious ... please look up Poe's Law

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kade View Post
    You should be flagged for this.

    I'm getting nailed for much less.

    Nobody is actually really disagreeing with you...
    I'm waiting for your response. You're the only one defending it.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by asgardshill View Post
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but does Ron Jeremy pay higher premiums than John Bobbitt?
    To quote the now *Mr.* Garrison from South Park, if you can't have babies then you're a dude.

    So yeah, John Bobbitt gets the male rate.

  24. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AutoDas View Post
    I'm waiting for your response. You're the only one defending it.
    Defending what? Show me what I said that you are confused by...

    "The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment."

    -Bertrand Russell


    I received positive rep for extreme sarcasm from a person who thought I was serious ... please look up Poe's Law

  25. #24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kade View Post
    Again, I haven't taken a position if you read what I've wrote.

    Your solution seems vastly more reasonable than your ranting lunatic counterpart. I would have to say that I'm more open to that kind of system.
    Wooh! That is some rad hostilities sir.

    I also never took the position of having it forced. It would be all free choice of course. But again to that point, non complaince is a right to refuse service if one would want that policy.

    Calm down. I never advocated the Gov't forcing it one people. Everything should be of free will.
    Quote Originally Posted by malkusm View Post
    McCain/Obama are two sides of the same coin, and it's a coin minted by the Federal Reserve that's going to lose what little value it has very soon.

  26. #25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanEdwards View Post
    People can choose where to build their home. They can't choose what genes they are born with.

    I don't know about the specifics of this bill, I just think your argument in support of discrimination based on genetics is flawed. It's fundamentally no different from saying an employer should be able to reject hiring black people, because black people commit more crimes, or whatever. At its root, it is collectivism. It's lumping people into a group based on their DNA, rather than on their actions.
    With true capitalism, market forces would eradicate *irrational* descrimination, without any official laws against it. Let's say I run a company and I only hire white people. You run a competing company and you're willing to hire any race, so long as they are best fit for the job. If I'm rejecting more qualified workers, then by definition your company has superior employees to mine and is in a better position to outperform mine. Over time, my company would go bankrupt if I didn't start opening the doors to everyone. No need for any laws.

    And how can you compare DNA to group descrimination? DNA is about as specific to an individual as it gets, wouldn't you say? Insurance companies are just calculating risk/reward using any meaningful information they have access to. If your issue is *choice* then what choice are you giving healthier people by *forcing* them to pay for other people's bad health in the form of higher premiums? *That*, is collectivism.

    Look, none of us want people in bad health or dying because they can't pay their medical bills, but forcing people to pay *their* bills is not the answer. I care, it seems like you care, I'm sure their families care. What's to stop us from *volunarily* helping them out?

  27. #26
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    It sounds to me as many of you are racist and would like to see the civil rights laws repealed! As to not hiring minorities and letting the market place take care of it that is just bunk. The civil rights laws were passed in our country because the free market was not correcting discrimination. To say that someone with what is perceived to be a genetic defect can not or will not be a major contributor to society is soothsaying plain and simple. Are you advocating that we allow soothsayers to run our society? When do we get around to punishing those with red hair or blue eyes because of some so called genetic defect. Are fat people to be discriminated against because of their predisposition to be heavy. In times of plenty the fat people are considered genetically defective but in times of famine the same people are considered genetically superior. Many of you seem to think it's just too bad if someone can't get insurance and they should just hope for charity to come to their rescue. Sounds great until you find yourself in that catagory. If you have any heart disease, diabetes, ms, alzheimers(sp) or senile dementia in you family you my friend are a candidate for higher premiums or no insurance at all. Any suicides in your family? Yep you get the high premiums. If of course you are a member of the MASTER RACE of world war II fame than please disregard my rantings as none of this applies to you!

  28. #27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWellington View Post
    DNA is about as specific to an individual as it gets, wouldn't you say?
    So is being black. Or asian. Or short. All of those characteristics can be tied to a gene or combination of genes.

    We don't allow employment discrimination against blacks, even though they may be predisposed to crime (if you believe crime statistics) because we don't judge people for pre-crimes. We judge individuals based on their ACTIONS, not based on statistical analysis of groups that share some characteristic. At least that is the rule in regards to employment and insurance matters, and it seems reasonable to me.

  29. #28

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    not based on statistical analysis of groups that share some characteristic.
    That is precisely the job of an actuary. Actuaries get paid to determine insurance premiums based on risk factors for particular individuals or companies. Are you saying that actuaries should not be allowed to conclude that an extremely overweight person (genetic predisposition, arguably) with a predisposition for heart attack (runs in family, genetic) should be given the same insurance premium as a healthy person with no serious genetic defects?

    We're talking about health insurance companies. It's the business of health insurance companies to insure you based on your risk. It's completely ridiculous to tell a health insurance company to disregard essential health risks when determining a person's premium. That is their job! As someone else here said, they would be forced to raise the premiums for healthy people in order to pay for the lower prices of the unhealthy - i.e. socialized healthcare.

    We're not talking about hiring people based on genetics, although if the person offers their health history to the company, the company should absolutely be able to take that into consideration. i.e. If company A rejects person a for health risks and company B gambles on person a, then the market will decide which company made the correct move. As someone else said, if a company irrationally discriminates, other companies will be able to hire the creme of the discriminated-against crop, thus pushing the irrational companies out of business.
    Jon
    My wife and I blog about healthy (GF DF) living and eating with recipes and information.
    http://cindalouskitchenblues.blogspot.com

  30. #29

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    If people got lower insurance premiums based on their genes then automatically people would try to choose a partner that has low premium genes to reproduce.

    If financial institutions are given the power to choose which genes get lower premiums they can silently manipulate the gene pool of society.

    Ron Paul voted No probably because he thought of this……
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    http://www.ithacahours.com/

  31. #30

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    Insurance companies have been issuing policies for a long time without needing to know the contents of people's genes. If that business model worked for them in the past, then why does it not work now?

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