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LTCI Watch: Empathy class

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I got to go on a vacation in the United Kingdom a week ago. While reading long-term care (LTC) stories there, and while reading presidential primary and White House Conference on Aging briefing papers here, I came to this conclusion: One of the root causes of chronic political conflict is lack of empathy.

Members of pro-business and pro-discipline groups don’t always seem to have much empathy for regular people facing big medical bills and a need for LTC services.

Consumers, and policymakers, have a lack of empathy for what private and public insurers are up against when demand for benefits is high and cash is tight.

See also: Congress has to toughen up to get a budget passed 

My daughter’s school tries to teach first-graders there a little about how the world really works by having them run a school postal service. All students and teachers can buy stamps (for a penny) and send letters.

The first-graders draw the stamps and deliver the letters. My daughter was in charge of the crew that drew the stamps. I don’t remember how they used the profits. Maybe to buy pizza.

Idea: Maybe the country should encourage schools (through publicity; not through some horrible new official mandate) to all offer first-grade postal services, or similar enterprises, and also to organize student-run, student-owned mutual insurance companies that insure students’ notebooks.

Have every student in the school pay a few pennies or nickels into the notebook insurer.

Encourage the notebook insurer to invest in the school postal service.

Make sure each student gets a chance to help process and pay claims, and to deal with concerns about fraud, and about the possibility of (or the reality of) notebook insurer insolvency, and premium increases.

If students learned the concept of “someone has to pay for those insurance benefits” early, maybe that would improve the general level of realism in adults’ discussions about public and private insurance programs.

See also: On the Third Hand: You Have Mail

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