Flipping The BirdOne of the most important things our society teaches us from an early age is the need to acquire good insurance coverage so we’re fiscally protected in the event of an accident. But what no one ever wants to talk about is why the insurance industry is a “racket.” Insurance provides a cache of stocked-up funds in case of a future difficulty— unless no such difficulty arises. In which case you wind up paying for nothing, and essentially betting against yourself.

Worse— insurance companies allow the artificial inflation of the prices of vital services (especially medical ones).

The current insurance system interposes a parasitic middle layer between the consumer/patient and the service provider/medical industry. By creating this massive multi-billion dollar money-taking industry between provider and end user, the insurance companies have become no different that any other sort of speculator— oil speculators, precious metal speculators, etc— except they are speculating NOT on a commodity, but ON YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH. And just as other types of speculators artificially drive up the price of commodities like crude oil, the insurance companies are speculating— and manipulating the cost—of the medical well being of their customers.

Yeah. It’s just what it sounds like. The glutted insurance industry has caused medical costs in the USA to skyrocket through the roof, because the assumption is that insurance companies— that take in billions in premiums— can afford to pay ridiculously high costs. So why not force those bloated insurance companies to pay through the nose? It’s not like they don’t have the money, right? And everything works out fine… AS LONG AS EVERYONE CAN AFFORD TO PAY FOR INSURANCE.

The recently-passed Affordable Care Act tries to legally reform the insurance industry and force the medical industry to lower costs, but that industry is viciously fighting back and the ACA doesn’t have enough clout to actually beat them. It’s been gutted by politicians on the insurance and medical industry bribe lists so it allows the worst insurance scammers to stay in business while supposedly preventing their worst abuses. But it’s not working. The working Middle Class are now caught between the wealthy (who can already afford expensive medical care) and the Lower Class (who are provided with care, via Medicare, by law).

So the ACA lets everyone else stay in business by once again screwing— you guessed itthe Middle Class.

In France, the government just makes sure everyone can afford medical care by having their medical industry run a version of our own medicare, regulating affordable rates, and subsidizing the rest. That’s what you can do if you don’t have a trillion dollars in insurance company money on the line, and that entire industry fighting you tooth and nail.

The French model makes sense. So do a lot of other European Health Care models. But they can’t currently work in the USA, primarily because of the power of insurance companies.

The sad remnant of the ACA— what actually made it through a solid year of argument and compromise in Congress— is essentially toothless. It just expands a few government aid programs, one of which helps people pay for their insurance. And taxes people to pay for the lost revenue, if they refuse to participate.

The real heart of the ACA— the attempt to regulate the insurance companies by making them stop offering unfair, ridiculous scam-policies that don’t cover anything (so they were naturally cheap as hell), has now blown up in the legislators face as those former customers scream angrily about their lost (if incredibly shitty) policies. Even though alternatives are being provided. People don’t like change, as a general rule.

It seems odd that those who are angriest that their policies are gone are mostly the same people who would have been completely amazed (and furious!) had they ever needed to actually use those policies— at which time they would have found out they had been paying for nothing all along.

Perhaps P.T. Barnum was wrong. Maybe you CAN fool all of the people, all of the time.