This morning on Fox & Friends, hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, a slightly dumber pair of couch-dwelling pontificators than Beavis and Butthead, got lathered up about Democratic senators who were celebrating the continued existence of Obamacare by taking selfies with one another and protesters on Capitol Hill.
“Congratulations, you now will pay a fine or you have to have insurance,” Kilmeade said mockingly as images of young protesters were on the screen. “Congratulations, the healthy people are paying for the sick people.”
And congratulations to Kilmeade for figuring out how insurance works, and deciding it a scam. The very idea behind most health-insurance plans, such as the one Fox offers its employees, is to have healthy people subsidize the sick. Everyone pays into a pool and those who need care have it paid for.
As dumb as Kilmeade’s comment was, the idea that healthy people should not have to help defray the costs to cover sick people is not uncommon on the right. Earlier this year, while giving a PowerPoint on his failed health-care bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan used language nearly identical to Kilmeade’s, saying, “The whole idea of Obamacare is … the people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick. It’s not working.”
This worldview ignores the social benefits of sick people being cared for. And it doesn’t acknowledge the inevitability of a healthy person one day becoming a sick person who is saddled with enormous medical costs. But when you have as much money as Kilmeade and Ryan do, maybe that’s not something you think about.