9 August 2012
8 August 2012
7 August 2012
6 August 2012
4 August 2012
Health Insurance should be about 2 problems.
- Making sure every citizen has access to health care when they need it;
- Removing the burden of insuring workers from business.
If you don't want to solve those two problems, no probs. Stop reading :-).
Bad luck is relatively rare, fortunately. But is very costly when it occurs. More than the person having the bad luck can afford. A car crash. A long term, disabling illness. Food poisoning. And so on.
The only way to insure against bad luck is to spread the risk. If you spread the risk across too few people, individual contributions become unaffordable. So you need to spread the risk across as many people as possible.
What about a market in insurance?
People buy insurance. That solves the problem! The motivation to buy insurance is simple; if you don't pay then you are on your own.
But it is in the interests of insurance companies to avoid insuring those who might need a pay out.
If a person gets really sick then that person's ability to pay insurance goes down.
If a person is poor, then that person's ability to pay is also limited.
As cost pressures are applied, the insurance company progressively removes what it insures against and who insures until only those unlikely to claim a pay out can get it.
Gradually the pool of people buying insurance goes down. Premiums go up.
More cost pressures, more decreases in payouts, more restrictions on who can get insurance.
More people drop their insurance. And so it goes.
Eventually the market system fails to do its job. Insurance is really expensive and covers hardly anyone.
The best way to insure that everybody pays a proportion of the costs of dealing with each instance of bad luck on the proviso that they have all their costs met in the event they have some bad luck.
It's the same argument people use for the police, the army, ambulances, and so on. Not many people can afford to hire a personal bodyguard or a mercenary, but occasionally everybody needs to call upon one. Health insurance is no different.
3 August 2012
Many intellectual associative patterns can seem distinct if they are analysed in a semantic or intellectual way. But emotions seem to operate above more concrete, communicable rational thought like that.
Once you observe the emotions and emotional memories common to them, the rationalisation is seen for what it is - an internal narrative, problem solving, determining the next action stimulated into action by an emotive response to stimuli.
The emotions are actually abstractions at a higher level than what we see as traditional abstraction. "Higher level" in the sense they link together - and are common to - apparently diverse thought processes. They can also form part of non-intellectual a set of associations. I suppose some people would call it emotional intelligence.
In another way, all of these things sit on top of memory, some of which take a more abstract form through repetitious use (words, for instance). But the recognition that unlabelled emotions form their own associations just like other forms of thought is a very interesting thing indeed.
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