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16 August, 2009

You Pays Your Money, You Takes Your Chance

I hate health insurance.

See, here's the thing. The idea behind insurance, right? Normal insurance? "We pay in in case something awful happens to someone who paid in, and what we've got here will cover helping out the unfortunate." It's gambling, paying in in case of theft, of fire, of flood, of whatever, but we don't expect to have these things happen, precisely, we just know they might.

And that's why I hate health insurance.

Before you start, you lose the bet.

You're gonna get sick.

Putting in money in case you get sick? Is, straight up, lost money. Because there is no "Maybe I won't get sick" like "Maybe I won't get robbed" or "Maybe my house won't burn down". That's resources lost, pfft. You'll get sick, or injured, or whatever else. Eventually. Unless you're hit by a truck tomorrow and die instantly, of course, in which case the insurance company will be really happy with you for being their ideal customer.

And because you will inevitably have need of health care, the thing where everyone's putting a little bit in as a bet against the chance that they're robbed/burned down/flooded out so the few who actually do wind up in need have enough resources to recover doesn't work so well. Everyone will be pulling something out sometime, so there's no chance for the pot to build up enough to take care of everyone's needs (unless, of course, we're spending exorbitant amounts).

And so the game goes like this: we pay money in, sunk cost, and when we need the money out, it's in the best interest of the insurance people to not pay that out (less money for them and, for that matter, for everyone else), so we get surcharges, pre-existing conditions, caps on how much medication we can take or how much care we can get even when we need it, all designed to keep the money drained out of us. So now we're down the money and we don't get the care.

So people try to 'economise'. Some go without insurance and pray that the major illness doesn't happen to them just yet. Some skip preventative healthcare (that would increase the odds of catching those major illnesses early) to keep the resources for catastrophic situations. Some have to decide which of their conditions will get treatment.

And people get stuck in awful places, because the whole system is set up to feed this goddamn protection racket. Trapped in a bad job but can't afford to quit because that would lead to 'losing health insurance'. Unable to get insurance and stuck managing serious illnesses out of pocket. Making major life decisions based on whether or not health care access will be possible, because we can't afford the risk - or have people depending on us who aren't 'risks' but 'actualities'.

And I hear rhetoric about how we don't want bureaucrats between us and our health care as a reason to ... make sure we have insurance companies available to kneecap us, rather than some sort of system that makes sure that basic care is available to people in general.

Pony up your blind. Shuffle up and deal!

Oh look, I got a two-seven unsuited. Again.


Peeeeka-chu said... a really good description of why health insurance companies are such bastards most of the time.

Daisy Deadhead said...

You have also touched on what infuriates me from the free-market Republicans. According to the capitalism gurus (Forbes: capitalist tool. He sure is!) a dynamic growth-economy is necessary for capitalism to succeed. A stagnant no-growth-economy is failure. Adam Smith 101.

Now, how can capitalism be dynamic if people are afraid to take economic chances?

And WHY are they afraid? No health insurance.

The very people ready to take these chances and create new businesses? We tend to be older and more established, with money saved up for the business venture. More likely to be working class, believers in the American dream, blabbity blabbity. We are, in short, OLD PEOPLE. The Ma and Pa business of American Norman Rockwell/Horatio Alger fabled legend.

Ma and Pa WILL get arthritis, bet on it. We WILL get sick, because we are OLD.

So, we do not try any new business ventures, or even take the chance on a new job or moving to another locale for a better one. Instead, we hunker down and hope for the best. That's why the economy is presently in the shitter. Adam Smith 101.

And its these assholes who claim to believe in the free market, SUPPOSEDLY, who don't want people to have any health insurance.


PS: I liked this post so much, I blogged it! :)