Obviously with a show with a title like that, you are not going to see the brightest human behavior. As a matter of fact, it’s usually the moronic, bottom-of-the-barrel behavior they spotlight: drunks, brawls, sports fans out of control and the like.
This past week I saw a Top 20 Most Shocking Episode devoted to thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies. It featured all sorts of morons participating in extremely reckless behavior:
- Some teenagers were trying to defy gravity with very dangerous skateboard jumps.
- Others were trying to jump over a moving car.
- Another idiot knocked himself out in a parachute jump over a seaside cliff that required an air-and-water rescue.
- And one moron teenager tried jumping onto a backyard card table from the roof of his house.
Each of these examples of stupidity end up with a trip to the emergency room. And many of them involve cars, motorcycles or ATV’s, so insurance companies no doubt had to get involved.
Which leads me to ask the question: where are the parents?
If you have children who have become thrill-seeking, adrenaline junkies, your responsibilities as a parent should be more than just making sure your health insurance premiums are paid up.
As a matter of fact, that’s a big part of the problem: insurance gives these knucklehead parents and kids a false sense of security. Break your leg? Lose your front teeth? Wreck the car or ATV? No problem…we’ve got insurance.
Over time, the spirit of health insurance (and auto insurance) has been corrupted by people who think it gives them permission to be deliberately stupid, careless and reckless.
I have no problem with people who want to risk their safety, health or lives with dangerous behavior. If you’re a thrill seeker and want to try to go over Niagra Falls in a barrel, go for it. But you should be expect to be prosecuted for criminal trespass and pay ALL the costs of the rescue.
The same applies to knucklehead parents and kids. If you want to be a daredevil and engage in physically dangerous activities, your health insurance, homeowners insurance and auto insurance should be substantially higher. There needs to be some personal responsibility in all this.
It is similar to what many companies and organizations are doing with employees who smoke. Statistics have proven out that smokers incur significantly higher healthcare costs for their habit. When companies provide the option of paying for a smoke cessation program or the employee will have to pay a higher health insurance premium, that is very reasonable.
Everyone blames insurance companies for rising rates and premiums. But it requires all of us- as individuals and a society- to take a long hard look in the mirror.
We can no longer avoid the fact that we have forgotten that we need to be accountable and responsible to a reasonable degree for our behavior. Accidents happen, but I don’t think it is fair for people to deliberately seek out risky activities to satisfy their thrill-seeking addiction and expect the rest of us to foot their bill.
What do you think?
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