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View Poll Results: If you ride helmetless: how much would you charge to pledge to not use insurance?

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  • nothing: I live by my individuality and don't want my choices affecting others

    2 25.00%
  • $100/month

    0 0%
  • $300/month

    0 0%
  • $500/month

    0 0%
  • I would never take this deal (respond to thread with reasoning)

    6 75.00%
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Cash out of Pocket

    For all the guys who ride helmetless, at least part time...

    How much would you charge someone to take a pledge to not use insurance, to pay cash out of pocket, for a head injury sustained while riding a bike helmetless?

    See this post of mine:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post16318319

    for details of why I am asking this question.
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  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    I chose to wear or not wear a helmet depending on my perception of the hazards I may face...

    So typically when commuting in traffic, I wear a helmet... I cannot foresee nor predict what may happen at any moment when traffic is moving all around me, and whether a helmet is the ideal protection or not, I feel it has the potential to help more than harm.

    On the other hand I do not chose to wear a helmet when I am just cruising the boardwalk or the local path... as I often find the traffic to be minimal and thus the hazards are reduced. I also feel that my experience of some 40+ years of cycling give me enough knowledge to adjudicate the hazards in this latter situation.

    Please note, my decisions are mine only, and are based on the speed I plan on riding, and the hazards I feel I may encounter.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    ^^^
    I am asking if you are willing to sever your choice to wear or not wear a helmet from my healthcare costs. I am not asking for a policy position regarding helmet use! If you are satisfied with your risk tradeoff, will you make the pledge so I am not affected by the accuracy of your calculation?
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  4. #4
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    I'm not even sure what you're asking. The wording isn't very clear.
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  5. #5
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
    I'm not even sure what you're asking. The wording isn't very clear.
    Same here: OP may have hit his head on something?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
    I'm not even sure what you're asking. The wording isn't very clear.
    See the link. I want the pro-choice people to stand up for their principles. A hospital stay, paid for through insurance, affects my insurance premium. If one truly believes the choice to wear a helmet or not affects only them, I merely want them to pledge to pay cash for any medical treatment necessary for a head injury sustained while cycling helmetless. Rather than whipping out that insurance card and affecting my premium.

    Alternatively, if you won't make the pledge for free on principle, how much would someone have to pay to you make the pledge?
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Same here: OP may have hit his head on something?
    Several times, but that's not the point .
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    This started in the helmet thread. One poster responded to my challenge by saying he'd require fully subsidized healthcare in exchange. I figure, if you truly think the only person affected by wearing a helmet is the individual, then it should be of no consequence to make the pledge. If one refuses to make the pledge, then they are being a little hypocritical; they proclaim their right to choice but deny that it costs anyone else anything. In between is a price. Crowdsourcing what people think that price would be will give an indication of just how much the helmetless riders cost society in dollar terms.

    This is so politicized, I mean, one can't even have an exploration of the topic without people popping up requiring a policy position proclamation, I don't expect anyone will take up the pledge. But I want people to think about it. Just what does it mean to proclaim a fundamental right to choose to forgo a generally accepted "best practice". What does that choice entail and what costs are you off-loading to the rest of society?
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  9. #9
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    I want the couch potato's who eat junk food to pledge to not use insurance when they get ill because of their choices. That'll save us lots more than your plan to make helmetless riders pay more.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    I want the couch potato's who eat junk food to pledge to not use insurance when they get ill because of their choices. That'll save us lots more than your plan to make helmetless riders pay more.
    Topic for a different day.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  11. #11
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    In exchange for a waiver of a right or privilege in general, for an arbitrary and meaningless reason such as an imagined increase in the insurance risk pool .... I'd say, one million dollars. Cashiers check please.

    Not that it matters to anyone's premium costs, given the small probabilities involved.

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    ^^^
    I am asking if you are willing to sever your choice to wear or not wear a helmet from my healthcare costs. I am not asking for a policy position regarding helmet use! If you are satisfied with your risk tradeoff, will you make the pledge so I am not affected by the accuracy of your calculation?
    No. Because I think the choice to ride a bike makes me less dependent on health care than those that chose to never exercise. In other words I am trading my choice to wear a helmet or not as a risk to healthcare as an offset by the lowered risk of bad health from exercise.

    Or to really simplify it, I think my better health from riding means I get to choose when to wear a foam hat.

  13. #13
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    If the point of this thread is to start trouble and get people in an argument, then you've got it. There is never any good that comes out of hotbed topics like this. You may as well lock it down now.

  14. #14
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    I see where you are trying to go. I don't think people will bite the bait. I tried something in a similar vein before I gave up on the helmet thread.


    I recall some postings a long time ago about some local govt operated ambulance services charging for service for non helmeted riders and not for those wearing a helmet.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    In exchange for a waiver of a right or privilege in general, for an arbitrary and meaningless reason such as an imagined increase in the insurance risk pool .... I'd say, one million dollars. Cashiers check please.

    Not that it matters to anyone's premium costs, given the small probabilities involved.
    So, no standing up for your principle of "rugged individualist"?

    I put up some numbers in the other thread. A high-side crash (say, a front wheel sweep), of the type that generally ends with the cyclist hitting head first on the ground from about six feet up, might incur a $4000 ER visit if you manage this with a helmet (I've done this a couple times before and have seen the bill), and perhaps increasing to $100k if you add an ambulance, a couple days in a bed and the specialist doctors to treat and recover from a major head trauma. Over 24 years, this is a $350/mo cost to your insurance; the helmeted alternative being only $14/mo distributed over the same time period for the same crash.

    Now, you suggest the probabilities are small. If they are small to you, why would you would demand a million dollars to keep that potential cost from society? You have the right to put this potential cost burden on society and you would demand such a high price to give up that right? Are your principles so malleable?
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    No. Because I think the choice to ride a bike makes me less dependent on health care than those that chose to never exercise. In other words I am trading my choice to wear a helmet or not as a risk to healthcare as an offset by the lowered risk of bad health from exercise.

    Or to really simplify it, I think my better health from riding means I get to choose when to wear a foam hat.
    But I suppose you'd be riding a bike either way, helmeted or not. So your relative healthy lifestyle doesn't change. Just the results of a crash. I put some numbers up. Tell me what you think of the cost differential.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    If the point of this thread is to start trouble and get people in an argument, then you've got it. There is never any good that comes out of hotbed topics like this. You may as well lock it down now.
    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    I see where you are trying to go. I don't think people will bite the bait. I tried something in a similar vein before I gave up on the helmet thread.
    ...
    I would term this a thought experiment. I am not advocating policy.

    If people want to get into an argument, that is up to them.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    ...

    Or to really simplify it, I think my better health from riding means I get to choose when to wear a foam hat.
    Now that is a bold statement. I'm curious if you can put an actual price on this kind of reasoning.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    I would term this a thought experiment. I am not advocating policy.

    If people want to get into an argument, that is up to them.
    It has never not gotten into a fight and name calling. Too cold to ride?

    Fact is that if you want to ride with or without a helmet is your business. No one is going to come to my door when an non-helmeted rider gets injured asking for medical money.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    This started in the helmet thread. One poster responded to my challenge by saying he'd require fully subsidized healthcare in exchange. I figure, if you truly think the only person affected by wearing a helmet is the individual, then it should be of no consequence to make the pledge. If one refuses to make the pledge, then they are being a little hypocritical; they proclaim their right to choice but deny that it costs anyone else anything. In between is a price. Crowdsourcing what people think that price would be will give an indication of just how much the helmetless riders cost society in dollar terms.

    This is so politicized, I mean, one can't even have an exploration of the topic without people popping up requiring a policy position proclamation, I don't expect anyone will take up the pledge. But I want people to think about it. Just what does it mean to proclaim a fundamental right to choose to forgo a generally accepted "best practice". What does that choice entail and what costs are you off-loading to the rest of society?
    I don't know that anyone claimed this. Maybe I missed it. I skim a lot in that other thread, which this one will be merged with soon.

    Again, low hanging fruit. People do plenty of stupid things which put them in the hospital, and which cost you more than all the head injured non-helmet wearing cyclists. Unsure why you'd pick on cyclists in this manner when there are activities you subsidize through healthcare costs at a much, much higher rate.

    Tell you what: I'll pledge to pay costs out of pocket if I crash without a helmet if you pledge to pay costs out of pocket if you crash with one.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    ...
    Fact is that if you want to ride with or without a helmet is your business. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    I don't know that anyone claimed this. ...
    See above.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Brian,
    In the Road Forum "Should I ride in a pace line?" thread, you have several posts commenting that all of your crashes involving a head injury involved racing. Your first post in that thread was about the risk taking nature of racing, which is why you participate. In your third post, you specifically say that you cannot recall your last accident that did not involve racing or fast pace line riding. I am not linking them directly because 1) that seems snotty and 2) it is a pain on this device.

    I mention these posts because I do not race, and am therefore subsidizing through my health insurance your increased health costs from racing. Thank you for mitigating these costs from $100k to $4k, but they would be zero to me if you pledged to not use insurance for your intentional race injuries. It is a simple matter of principle (and principal).

  23. #23
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    ...

    Tell you what: I'll pledge to pay costs out of pocket if I crash without a helmet if you pledge to pay costs out of pocket if you crash with one.
    Interesting. So per my previous computation, you'd set the price at $14/mo.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  24. #24
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    See the link. I want the pro-choice people to stand up for their principles. A hospital stay, paid for through insurance, affects my insurance premium. If one truly believes the choice to wear a helmet or not affects only them, I merely want them to pledge to pay cash for any medical treatment necessary for a head injury sustained while cycling helmetless. Rather than whipping out that insurance card and affecting my premium.

    Alternatively, if you won't make the pledge for free on principle, how much would someone have to pay to you make the pledge?
    Why limit this BS to head injuries. Why don't you make the pledge for any cycling injury, so motorist premiums do not go up due to your cycling?
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  25. #25
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    Now that is a bold statement. I'm curious if you can put an actual price on this kind of reasoning.
    As much of a price that one can put onto the reasoning that some couch potato or smoker doesn't deserve to pay much more for their health insurance.

    The problem is you want to associate a perceived health threat with a cash amount... while also not giving me a cash break for pursuing a healthy lifestyle... so now we have to look at all the contributing factors to good health... weight, diet, *** ownership, seat belts, exercise, recreation activities and so on... why should I be "punished" for not wearing a helmet when the fat guy in the corner can't even walk up the stairs?

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