...and charity is charity. They are different things. Is there anything morally problematic about that?
Health insurance is a business. People go into the health insurance business for the same reason that people go into any other business: to make money by providing something that other people want and for which they are willing to pay enough for you to make a profit.
So far so good? Is there anything morally problematic about going into the health insurance business for the sole purpose of making a profit? Is it, for example, any more morally problematic than going into, say, the plumbing business for the sole purpose of making a profit? Or is there something about the health insurance business that makes the profit motive there particularly immoral?
I don't see why, but I'm open to objections.
Anyway, continuing: suppose that, having gone into the health insurance business, to make a living, my worst nightmare shows up, one day, in my office: some guy - lets call him Marty - together with his sisters and his cousins and his aunts, who, between them, suffer from more (and more expensive) pre-existing medical conditions than the average county in Wyoming: herniated discs, debilitating headaches, nausea, intermittent "visual phenomena" - you name it, they've got it. And what they haven't already got, they're going to get, sooner or later - given a family history of predisposition to certain catastrophic illnesses, beginning with colon cancer and moving on from there.
Question: am I morally obligated to offer the usual policies at the usual prices to Marty and family, just as if they were average customers? Am I morallly obligated to swallow the inevitable loss?
And is it morally acceptable for Marty and family - none of whom I know from Adam - to demand this of me? Just because I'm in the health insurance business?
Suppose that I don't think so. Suppose that I answer their demands like this:
"Marty, you and and your family are not looking for insurance. You are looking for charity. And you have come to the wrong place. This is a business. This is not a charity. I am in business to make a living. I am not in business to aid the needy. And your need is no claim on me - a stranger to you. If your need is a claim on anyone, it is not on strangers, but on your family, your friends, your neighbours and your community. You should go to them for help. You should not come to me. I have my own family, and friends, and neighbours, and community. And they and theirs - not you and yours - are the legitimate claimants on my charity."
Would this just be a monstrously evil thing for me to say and to believe?