Investor Peter Schiff has hired well-known Republican polling firm Wilson Research Strategies to gauge support for a potential Senate run according to a piece in CQ today.
“Peter is a non-traditional candidate,” said Andrew Schiff of his brother, an outspoken libertarian who has gained attention for correctly predicting the collapse of the mortgage industry despite mockery from other industry analysis. “We’re attracting a lot of very fervent believers.The question is whether or not this will all resonate with the voters of Connecticut.”…
“We do think there’s certainly room for the fiscally conservative, libertarian wing of the party to attract a lot of attention in the Northeast,” Andrew said, adding that Peter is prepared to develop a policy portfolio not just on finance and monetary policy, his specialty, but also on hot-button issue like health care and energy. But economics will remain is major focus…We’re leaning towards a run,” he said, however, “Peter doesn’t want to spend a lot of time and money if there’s really no chance.”
I think it’ll be interesting to see how voters react when they really start listening to some of the things Schiff has to say. Like his comparing health insurance to “plumbing insurance”.
The bottom line is that aggregate medical costs will never come down unless services are rationed more wisely. Rather than being used as a pre-payment plan for routine care, insurance should only cover unpredictable, catastrophic costs.
As a comparison, homeowners often carry fire insurance, but seldom maintenance insurance. You buy fire insurance to guard against a catastrophic loss, which is a low probability but high cost event. As a result, fire insurance is relatively affordable, since premiums paid by all those homeowners whose houses do not burn down more than pay for the losses on those few whose houses do.
On the other hand, no one carries home maintenance insurance to pay for a clogged drain or broken garage door. If insurance paid for the plumber visit every time a toilet overflowed, we would now have a plumbing crisis, and Congress would be looking to reign in runaway plumbing bills with “national plumbing insurance.”
I know some of my critics like to say I’m full of shit, but personally I prefer to think of my body as a temple, rather than a blocked toilet. And to me, there’s a pretty important difference between good preventative health care which can SAVE LIVES and plumbing. But maybe that’s why I’m a liberal.
“If left alone, the free market drives quality up and costs down,” Schiff writes. Yeah yeah. We all know the theory. But I also know what’s happening in practice with the private insurance companies, with whom I’ve personally had horrendous experiences. And if you think they are in it for quality of care, read this testimony from a former health insurance industry insider.
It’ll be interesting to see the poll results.