Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

Here’s one of them “half-assed and barely worth it but at least I’m typing” posts I promised you. Clearly I need to work on the self-promotion at least as much as the writing itself.

The Co-operative Bank has been greatly “troubled” in recent months, to put it euphemistically. There’s been no shortage of opportunity to read about what a nightmare they’ve been having, especially from the BBC.

There have no doubt been some serious management problems which need addressing. Much of the criticism thrown Co-op’s way, even if it has been largely dealt out by superfans of one narrow and specific conception of capitalist economics revelling in apparent vindication of their own ideology, is surely valid.

And yet, for all the public dissection of this failure of the ethical investment model, it does make me wonder why, when HSBC – a bank with a more rigorously capitalist doctrine – made a killing over the course of decades by laundering billions of dollars for drug barons and terrorists, I had to read about it on a comedy website specialising in dick jokes.

After wondering this for a while, I decided I may have just not been paying much attention.


So that was just a thought I had in my head, and so I got it out of my head, as per yesterday’s new policy. It’s not much, but it’s a thing. As it wasn’t much, here’s another one.

I don’t know by what piecemeal process something becomes so twisted, distorted, wasteful, counterproductive, and utterly unfit for purpose as the current US healthcare system. I suspect it takes many minds, spread over many different layers of competing bureaucracies, all at differing levels of competence and malevolence, and all failing to communicate with each other meaningfully, acting largely in whatever short-sightedly self-interested way will best keep them afloat in the immediate future without making too many waves.

What’s the purpose behind a healthcare system? Something idealistic and obvious like, I don’t know, making sure people’s health is cared for? Look at the state of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries in the States. That’s not even in the top five.

Maybe it doesn’t matter how things got this bad. Or maybe it’s important to understand so that we can avoid repeating the same mistakes next time. I just know that my gut instinct when I read about shit like this, that inner voice which burns with furious, urgent need, is howling burn it all to the fucking ground.

That’s not “just a metaphor”, by the way. Saying that would make it sound like my anger at this is some momentary thing, that I’ll be thinking more clearly once I’ve calmed down, that sure I’m frustrated but I’m not actually advocating dramatic and severe and complete change in a way that annihilates the status quo.

Possibly the worst part – because it both gives me hope and also makes the whole thing so unbearably tragic – is that the system is filled with well-meaning people working hard to do good. And the structure they’re working in is built in such a way that anxiety, misery, destitution, and immeasurable unnecessary suffering are the direct result of their commendable labours. We’re trying so hard to make it better and it’s still completely fucked.

Now I’ve just made myself sad before bed. I knew this writing words thing was a bad idea.


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Someone asked Amanda Palmer recently about her health insurance situation. She then asked the rest of the world.

#InsurancePoll is trending! EVERYBODY ANSWER & RT! 1) country? 2) occupation? 3) have health insurance? 4) why/not? (cost to you/employer?)

This post is a summary of my ensuing twitrant.

#insurancepoll 1) UK, 2 & 3) doesn’t matter and nope, because 4) thank Loki for the NHS

There presumably already exists more and better quality data than is emerging on that hashtag, but not more human stories.

It was a long while before I really got the conversations on American TV shows about health insurance. Because I’ve never had or needed any.

Because I’ve always just gone to the hospital and gotten anything sorted that needed sorting. Because we have an NHS.

Because some bloke called Nye Bevan had this crazy idea about treating people based on medical need rather than how rich they are.

I only slowly came to understand the American situation through the gradual absorption of pop culture. It got scarier the more I learned.

I still don’t get it. You have Medicare, so, what? Old people can’t be expected to provide for all their health needs but poor people can?

When did a profit-driven health service start seeming like a *good* idea to anyone, anyway?

Seriously, if your infrastructure for dealing with medical emergencies is driven by a compulsion to make money, what the fuck do you expect?

“But government’s so incompetent and inefficient!” Sure, let’s let rich people make our decisions for us instead. No way that’ll backfire.

Government *does* suck, so don’t just nationalise healthcare, socialise it. Let doctors et al. run things and let’s all of us support them.

A poorly formed, un-nuanced, tweet-length soundbite of an idea? Yes. And I wish anything else being said made any more sense.

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