Health insurance reform passed, and yet...

Well, it was a cliff-hanger, to use the term, the bill passed at long last. Yet the opponents are still on the warpath against it. So now I write this attempting to make some sense of it, at least to myself.

Originally it was about health for all Americans, I thought. It then seemed to shift to "health insurance" instead. Watching the progression of the talks over the months, I learned a few things to add to what I already knew. The whole subject is quite complex and when in addition it involves some people's business fortunes and political activities, it gets more complex. I stubbornly cling to the intent that it is not overwhelmingly complex.

Health is about human functionality, body, mind and even spirit. We are whole creatures, enmeshed in the larger worlds. Surely America will optimally function as a whole when all people are at their optimum whole person functionality.

Although, when people's hierarchical thinking, tribal thinking, rivalry mentality comes into play, not all will agree with the above; they want the quarry, the rival, the subordinates, to be weaker, so the winners will win by defeating their competitors. Thus, in the real world, not all people want all people to be functioning optimally in body, mind and spirit. In fact, there are a lot of people who think the world's woes would be less if there were just a whole lot fewer humans in the world ... instead of a whole lot more fully functioning humans pitching in to get the big job done. More kinds of points of view involved, here. So, it gets even more complex.

So I will shift to the concept of "health insurance" instead, as the politicians did, no doubt to get something done despite the high valence subject matter. What is "insurance"? Well, car insurance helps cover the major part of the bills when one's vehicle gets squished out there on the road somewhere. One pays a monthly fee for having that financial payment capability when things go wrong. The money does not help prevent car accidents - probably - it just helps deal with the financial aspects of the damage and getting back on the road again eventually. So "health insurance" is lots like that, in that it does not focus on preventing "accidents" and just focuses on covering a major part of the bills for getting the body repaired when things go wrong.

But humans are not like cars, in that humans are largely self-repairing and have a high capacity for avoiding accidents. Cars are just slaves to the drivers, and are stuck with what is dealt them in the course of people's busyness. Perhaps a person might consider their body-mind-spirit just a slave to the person's whims; others would say that the body-mind-spirit is who they are.

I would think that insurance would best involve preventing accidents of cars and humans. But the rates they charge is based on the number of accidents that people and cars statistically risk; by preventing "accidents" they would be working themselves out of a job; people are not impressed by preventing what might have happened, so much. As in, prove that it would have happened. So, is easier to just "insure" to pay for the damages that happen.

Now, why does America not have such an insurance for all, efficiently covered by the nation for the nation's benefit? Would not America be far better functioning if everybody was in optimum shape all the time, so we could work and produce better? Well, there is the above-mentioned rivalry set of viewpoints that asserts itself about here.

So in comes the middlemen, to rake off a profit and jack up the overall cost to the consumer. The middlemen in this case are the insurance companies, and their concept of "group coverage". Somehow it justifies having much higher insurance premiums when smaller numbers of people are in the "group" coverage; and a mere individual pays a lot more indeed. Why? Does not make sense to me at first; but if the insurance company clusters a bunch of people in a group, and considers all of those in that particular group are pooling their insurance premiums in case of "accident" - sickness - to some of them, that if the sickness repair costs exceed the amount of pooled money, the coverage vanishes for all the rest of those in the group. It is a little like a lottery, lots of people put in a little money that is lost, but some get lots of money. Thus the insurance companies make their own risk little. Thus they make lots of money, can even invest some of that money into other endeavors, pay some folks to administer the details to the individuals. And the owners live real fine off the fat, easy money.

So if and when America becomes a "group", in what I think they call a "single payer" system, the middlemen get cut out, the customers all pay less, and the former insurance middlemen go get some productive job instead. But the reality was, those wealthy insurance middlemen really like being wealthy with their easy money, and could pay for lots of attacks on the efforts to get rid of them: good sporting business practice.

As with most things, there are pros and cons to all this. For example, some people fear a totalitarian government that might get in power someday, would then have the power to threaten any individual with reduction of their health insurance coverage; and with no competition, there would be none other to turn to, even of one had the wealth to do it. It would indeed be a threatening thing; and especially easy to visualize when nowadays some people are trapped on some horrid job, unable to get another job instead, because of the health insurance the employer provided as part of the job incentive; but since working on that job, they or someone in their insured family got a long term health risk factor, and thus now to go to some new job, they would be denied insurance because of a "pre-existing condition". Thus, the worker is trapped in a horrid job and their employer can take advantage of the situation and pile the workload on.

With a national insurance system, everything would be a "pre-existing condition" and thus not special. And when a national system is being paid for by everybody in proportion to their income, it ought to become clear that the best situation is for people to not have "accidents" health-wise, in the first place. There is no earnings to the nation by having people sick. Unfortunately, that might take the form of vaccinations, get everybody injected with inoculations to prevent everything; in other words, what would be done by a blind and uncaring beaurocratacy to prevent bad health might simply be whatever some corporation wants to peddle, and conned the officials into buying in on that product.

This has gotten too thick and deep for me at this point. And I have not even approached the problems with the health services themselves. And of science itself, a major mechanism required in getting all this fixed; yet it cannot do the job when it itself is paid for by those who benefit from squeezing the most profit out of the system.

So it is past time for me to go get my cup of red wine for the evening. At least science has multiply proven that ethanol alcohol, consumed regularly in moderation, increases longevity and the quality of life. Although, who was it that paid for that research in each case, I wonder; and what was their motive. Whatever, I can attest to the fact that, in some tiny measure, it briefly improves the quality of life; which I hope will happen for me in a few minutes.

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