Friday, October 1, 2010

An Absence of Principles

Once again the Chronicle editorial board demonstrates its complete lack of principles in an editorial titled "Profit over principle." The editorial chastises insurance companies for refusing to offer child-only policies. With the first phases of ObamaCare kicking in, insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

While paying lip service to this concern, the paper argues that it has no merit:
Insurers complain that the new provisions would trigger an influx of consumers with high-cost pre-existing conditions but few healthy ones to offset these costs. That is certainly a possibility, but one that could have been foreseen and guarded against. 
Exactly how is a business to guard against the coercive power of government? How are insurers expected to be profitable--so that they can remain in business and pay future claims--if they are forced to abide by the arbitrary dictates of petty bureaucrats and pandering politicians?  And how are they supposed to foresee what mandates and prohibitions will be placed upon them in the future?

The editorial oozes of altruism--children have a need and insurance companies have a moral duty to fulfill that need. The fact that the insurance companies are being forced to act against their own judgment, and sensible business practices, is of no concern to the Chronicle. According to the Chronicle, insurance companies should not be seeking a profit, but instead should offer coverage to anyone who wants it.

While the paper is eager to sell doctors into slavery and drive insurance companies out of business, it continues to seek a profit. It continues to charge for ad space, despite the needs of businesses who are hurting from the slow economy. It continues to charge subscribers, despite any hardships they might be experiencing. If others have a moral duty to serve the needs of others, why is the Chronicle immune?

Of course, to see the inconsistency of its position, the paper would have to hold rational principles. As it has demonstrated too many times to count, it doesn't.

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