Health insurance is the dumbest system anyone could ever create for dealing with sick people. Insurance in general makes no sense. I can understand paying for things that you are going to use. If I buy a CD (plastic containment system for music, popular circa 1985-2005), then I get to keep that CD and the music that is on it. One does not have a similar thrill of ownership with health insurance. My insurance company won’t even give me a book listing my benefits. I am paying approximately $2400/year for a plastic card. They could at least make the cards out of something slightly more substantial, like pewter.
At its heart, health insurance is a punishment and reward system for bodily functions. According to Wikipedia, the health insurance system as it stands today did not develop until the 1950s. Before that, when you went to the doctor, you paid him for the doctoring he gave you. Now you pay the insurance company in advance for the doctoring you might get in the future, and then you pay the doctor a little bit more when he actually gives you that doctoring. What Wikipedia does not say, and what I have always been curious about: why does health care have anything to do with employment? I can understand that it is in a company’s best interest to make sure their employees are physically well. But there are an awful lot of areas where my employer does not seem to care about my health. Like food. Employers do not buy my groceries. Or sleep. I am required to buy my own mattresses and make sure I get to sleep at a reasonable hour.