The Drawing Board: Health Insurance

If there’s one thing people love to talk about, it’s health insurance. Go to any coffee shop in America and you’re bound to find at least one person who has health insurance. But what the insurance companies don’t want you to know is that, in all likelihood, many more than one person there has health insurance. And while it’s true that people don’t really like talking about health insurance, you can bet that someone you know has it, and has it bad.

If you’re perfectly healthy like me, you obviously don’t want health insurance because what’s the point? Who wears a raincoat when the forecast says clear skies, other than actors like in The Perfect Storm? No one. Plus for most people, umbrellas would be way more useful—but not in that storm they wouldn’t! What a movie. But you know what? Everyone died at the end of that movie, so are we really supposed to believe that it’s a true story? But I’m not here to take The Perfect Storm to the drawing board, or even spoilers for that matter—sorry about that—because the truth is that, for most of us, health insurance poses a far greater danger than some type of perfect storm. Even the so-called perfect storm isn’t that dangerous—just stay inland. Same with Jaws. If you stay on land, the worse that can happen is Twister, but I’m not really scared because that movie was lame.

Anyway, we’ve established that you don’t want health insurance if you’re healthy, but what if you’re not? Well, if you’re not healthy—that is, if you don’t “have” health, then why would you insure it? Would you buy car insurance if you didn’t have a car? Maybe, if you wanted to trick people into thinking you had a car, like say perhaps an attractive woman who needs a ride somewhere. But that’s only going to get you so far—what are you going to do if she accepts? Play it off like she’s not worth the trouble? Nice, it could work. So now, though, we’re left facing an apparent paradox: No one needs health insurance, yet insurance companies are still selling policies like hotcakes, only much better than hotcakes because I honestly don’t even know what a hotcake is, much less who buys them. Although…my take on hotcakes is starting to sound a lot like my take on health insurance, so who’s to say? The point is, insurance and hotcakes might not be as different as we once thought.

But before I get even further from the introduction, I should probably take a minute to go over the basics of health insurance. The way it works is this: A guy comes to your house and tells you that you need to protect yourself in case you get sick, or “injured,” he says, with a weird look on his face as he opens his briefcase and pulls out a crow bar. You beg him not to hit you, and he says okay, but only if you pay him some money every month. And you say that’s outrageous! But then he shakes that crowbar at you, so you pay him. And you know what, say what you want about that guy, he’s held up his end of the deal so far.

And sooner or later, that guy’s probably going to knock at your door, and when he does you’d better not answer. There are a lot of things to worry about in life, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s time we stopped putting such a premium on our health insurance.

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