One afternoon late last week I listened in for a few minutes of Neal Boortz. A caller asked how small business could cut costs of health insurance for employees. Boortz launched into a "comparison" of health insurance and automobile insurance (which is pretty expensive, too). I won't relate his entire rant, but Boortz basically said, like car insurance, health policies should only cover for catastrophic losses and should not pay for oil changes, new wipers, and other routine maintenance. The caller, and I imagine many of his listeners, voiced agreement. More fodder for their grist mill of anti-Obama and anti-national health insurance propaganda.
I don't need to go into all the fundamental differences between the two types of insurance. Health is purchased for yourself (or family) while car insurance is mostly to protect someone else - either the person you run into or the bank that holds the car title. Good maintenance on your body and regular doctor checkups will have a direct impact on future health and costs. Failing to change the oil or waxing have virtually no impact on a future auto insurance claim. True, bald tires or burnt out bulbs could contribute to an accident, but most states have required inspections and there is the threat of flashing lights in the rear view mirror.
The list of differences is longer, but you get the point - Boortz's homespun analogy is fundamentally flawed and misleading, but it nevertheless influences the public dialogue. So next time you hear someone spreading BS, find a way to correct it. Perhaps just talk to the person in the room with you. Maybe by a letter to the editor or a blog post. If the show is in real time, call in. We can't let the lying liars have the last word - too many dumb clucks will believe it.