Is Healthcare Insurance an Oxymoron?


Apr 10, 2010
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I'm not very smart. I think it's because I come from not very smart parents.

My Mom smoked her whole life. When she found out that she had lung cancer, she kept smoking. She figured, "Why quit now?"

Her chemotherapy, radiation treatments, hospital stays, etc.. totaled over $500,000 back in 1979; she died in 1979. Insurance paid over 80% and my Dad spent the rest of his life trying to pay off the rest.

My Dad kept smoking, eating a high cholesterol diet, and no exercise. His undiagnosed high blood pressure and clogged arteries destroyed his kidneys. He had to take an unplanned, early retirement from the US Post Office in 1986 and received a whopping
$650 a month. His monthly rent was $600.

His kidney dialysis, medications, operations totaled $200000-300000 by 1989. He was too old for a kidney transplant. The insurance company paid over 80% again but he still died in 1989 with $67 in the bank.

Here comes the part I can't figure out. Car Insurance works because not everyone files a claim, EVER! My wife and I both drive separate cars and have never been in an accident in 32 years; Knock on wood.

Thus the premiums we have paid go toward paying for those unfortunate enough to file a claim and the rest goes to the Insurance company profits,expenses and general fund.

Residential and Commercial Real Estate Insurance, Boat Insurance, Renter's Insurance ALL work on similar principles that NOT everyone files a claim in their LIFETIME!

Health Insurance is an oxymoron. EVERYBODY DIES! You would be a fool if you paid Health Insurance premiums and did not go to the Doctor, the Dentist, the Eye Doctor, etc...

Virtually EVERYONE files claims all the time during the entire LIFE of the policyholder. The coup de grace is that the longer you live, the more likely you will succumb to debillitating disease that will cost a small or LARGE fortune to treat. The numbers do NOT, cannot add up.

When the numbers do not add up then something else is going on. Either we do not all get the same amount of treatment or the same quality of treatment.

I think that Health Insurance is the same type of PONZI scheme as Retirement Pensions and Social Security where the beneficiaries only get paid because of the contributions of the younger people paying into the system. As long as you have a
LARGE, youthful, hopefully healthy group paying their share into the Insurance Pool, Pension Plan, STOCK MARKET, etc... then
the schemes can go on for a long time BEFORE they must inevitably collapse.

I guess if the youthful group is shrinking you need to get participants from somewhere? How about amnesty for ILLEGAL immigrants? How about MANDATORY participation by EVERYONE! Things are starting to make a little more sense.

But I could be wrong. Like I said, I'm not very smart.

Joe Steel

Class Warrior
Dec 11, 2009
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St. Louis, MO
But I could be wrong. Like I said, I'm not very smart.

I'm not buying it.

You understand insurance well-enough to know it's not some kind of scheme. We pay premiums and make claims. The insurance company is betting the premiums exceed the claims. It's a good bet because most of us don't want to get sick. We don't look on our health insurance as a good reason for risky behaviors.

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