Conspiracy or Actuarial Follies?

There’s a saying about never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity or ignorance or yes. I try to follow that rule of thumb. Conspiracies never did much for me because how can that many people keep a secret for so many years? No, the government is not secretly planning to [bad Thing], it is two groups of turf-jealous bureaucrats refusing to talk to each other, with predictable results. But now, now I’m beginning to understand how people start seeing conspiracies and secret plots. And it has to do with health insurance, especially mine.

A little back-story. My entire working career I’ve been a free-lancer or contractor of some kind, so I never qualified for group health insurance. Thus I’ve had one of those rare individual policies since, um, a while ago. Back when the Affordable Care Act/ACA/Obamacare/ whatever kicked in, I lost that policy because I had opted out of some things that are now required. So, after some hunting around, I found a replacement. I had that for a year and the company went out of business, so I managed to find this one. And it is being cancelled because Big Company Inc is no longer doing individual policies. Come November I’ll be on the phone looking for coverage once more, because I can’t afford the “not a tax” for lace of insurance. Why drop the policies? Because statistics show that people who carry an individual policy are more likely to make claims (contractors) and we don’t fill a large enough risk pool to attenuate the individual cost to the company. It makes fiscal sense not to cover us, and insurance companies are companies that do have to show at least a balance between income and out go. Their share holders would prefer to see more income than outgo.

Since none of my physicians accept Big Company Inc. insurance, and since I have to pay out-of-pocket because my deductible is high, it won’t make a difference in that part of my life. But if you go back a ways, one of the arguments people on the edges of the internet and on late Night Radio have made about the ACA follies is that it is part of the Government trying to restrict our location and livelihood. Policies are geographically constrained in many cases, so if you relocate, you are not covered until the next enrollment window opens and you have to go through all the hoops once more. And if I can’t get insurance on the market, I will have to go to the federal system and all that that entails, like running the risk that if I keep paying out-of-pocket, I will have to lie about coverage because physicians may not be allowed to take cash from people on .gov policies, just like they can’t take cash from Medicare patients.

Charitable and small private businesses are having increasing difficulty getting group insurance for their employees, but don’t have a good option for a fall back.

So yes, I can start to see how people inclined to see conspiracies look at the ACA and other things that have developed over the past few years and find a plot to lock people into their current location and to require everyone to work for an approved employer (one that can provide insurance). Or that this is an attempt to force people to accept a government-run “health care” system where the government is the consumer and people are an unfortunate source of expense.

Cthulu for President 2016 is looking better and better. At least we’d be electing a known evil.

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9 thoughts on “Conspiracy or Actuarial Follies?

  1. “Come November I’ll be on the phone looking for coverage once more, because I can’t afford the “not a tax” for lace of insurance.”

    You must have amazingly cheap insurance. When I checked the “not a tax” added up to about two months premiums.

    Myself, as a free-lancer/self-employed person, I don’t have anybody prepaying income tax to the government. Therefore when I file my taxes at the end of the year, they aren’t helpfully holding (interest free, of course) a bunch of my money for me. Since I have to pay in, rather than get a “refund”, I don’t have to pay the “not a tax”.

    • I fall into a strange window tax-wise, so the “not a tax” would be the same as six months premiums (several grand). As far as I’m concerned, what I send to Big Insurance Co. is just another form of income tax that doesn’t come with the risk of having red flags on it if I ever get back into the university hiring pool.

  2. Is it still a conspiracy when they produce issue papers saying what they’re trying to achieve, hire workers to hammer out the final details of the language, and give speeches about the progress of the great undertaking?

    There’s got to be a better word to describe this process. I think it’s ‘politics’, or maybe ‘treason’.

    • Yeah, at that point it is politics, policy, and Major Problem. Conspiracy implies at least a minor, token effort at keeping things out of the public eye.

  3. Moon Landing “Hoax” conspiracy believer was annoyed when it was pointed out we know what a government conspiracy of that time looks like: Watergate.

  4. This may have gotten lost over at ATH. You mention engineering history as part of your research focus. Is this water engineering or engineering in general?

    • Primarily water engineering, but civil engineering in general as well. I’ve done a fair amount of reading on Roman and medieval construction and mining techniques.

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