Moral hazard is increasingly commonplace. Moral hazard happens when people make decisions that involve risk while they are protected from the risk. Gambling with other people’s money is a moral hazard. So is gambling with other people’s lives. Susan Sarandon’s glib disregard for the lives of immigrants, the poor, people who might lose health insurance and people of color when she encouraged risking a Trump presidency to “heighten the contradictions” is an example of moral hazard. She’s a white woman who won’t be deported or be killed by the police because she forgot to use her turn signal. She’s wealthy and does not risk homelessness or loss of health insurance. It was easy for her to contemplate disaster because other people lose, not her.
The recent bill repealing the ACA that Congressional Republicans passed without one vote to spare is an example of moral hazard. They exempted their health insurance coverage from the provisions that strip protections from the American people. There is no clearer example of moral hazard than that. Their bill brings back lifetime limits and pre-existing condition exclusions by allowing states to opt out of national standards. Of course, states with poor quality state government will immediately rush to opt out. People living in states with good government are not safe, though, because their repeal encourages a race to the bottom by allowing insurance to be sold across state lines so states who are in the pockets of the insurance companies like Georgia and Alabama can allow worthless insurance to be sold to employers in states who attempt to protect their people from predatory corrupt insurance companies like Golden Rule.