I had a blind college professor named Daniel Sisler. On the first day of class, Dr. Sisler gave a ten-minute intro about his unusual life. He had been a linebacker at Purdue. No Purdue Football jokes, please; Purdue used to excel in football and Sisler was fully-sighted while there. He lost his vision, post-college, in a military explosion.
Professor Sisler described his sightless life. He said that he walked from home to campus every day and that if we saw him walking, he would like it if we said, “Hello.” I sometimes did, and I always did. Each time, he smiled and returned the greeting.
On that first day, he also anticipatorily answered questions that people often asked about how he managed life logistics. He explained that he didn’t use a guide dog because, when he found his own way to his various destinations: “Instead of patting someone else on the head, I can pat myself on the head and say, ‘Sisler, you’re a good boy. You’ve done it again!’”
That story becomes relevant at the end of this essay, which could be book-length, but isn’t.
Some rabid Net commenters, some blowhard “bioethicists” and some grandstanding state legislators propose to deny medical insurance coverage to the “unvaxxed.” (Presumably, coverage would be denied for all conditions, including, e.g, broken bones). Those who support linking medical insurance coverage to taking an experimental shot are way out of touch with reality and manifest major deficits of logic. But that describes most Americans over the past 23 months.
First, if the mRNA shots were obviously needed, the government wouldn’t have to threaten people to take them. But the shots provide no measurable benefit to the vast majority of the population: 99.96% of those under 65 survive infection, without treatment. If you’re not obese, that figure effectively increases to 100%. Even the Pharma companies’ self-serving clinical trials show that the shots provide virtually no absolute risk reduction against death or hospitalization; when you’re at functionally zero risk to begin with, it’s hard to improve your odds.
Further, despite the oft-repeated lies of Fauci, Biden, Maddow, Caplan, Colbert and anyone else who asserts this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” millions of the “vaxxed” are getting sick and spreading infection. Many of the vaxxed are being hospitalized and dying. Some data analysts say more—not fewer—of the hospitalized are injected than are uninjected. See Alex Berenson’s January 4 Substack, et al. Eight vaxxed people I know have been infected; one was hospitalized. I know zero uninjected people who have been infected or hospitalized.
Moreover, there is a wide range of human conduct far riskier than not injecting. To begin with, injecting itself seems more dangerous than not injecting. I directly know three injected people who landed in the hospital from vaxx effects plus one, normal weight 62 year old who died under mysterious circumstances. Aside from my anecdotal data, hundreds of thousands of people have been hospitalized or died after injecting. See Steve Kirsch’s January 3 and 5 Stacks.
Beyond temporally-linked deaths and hospitalizations, excess deaths in nations such as Germany and the UK—which, unlike the US, keep and disclose records that would allow comparisons of health outcomes for the injected versus the uninjected— reveal higher overall death rates among the vaxxed cf., the unvaxxed during the past six months. The shots can cause serious cardiovascular damage and systemic inflammation, and often suppress immunity. These effects can kill days, weeks or months—and perhaps years—after injection.
Aside from statistics revealing bad vaxx outcomes, basic logic also nullifies the histrionic notion that the uninjected deserve no medical care. Even if one were to wrongly believe that not injecting costs lives, much other, widely practiced conduct: overeating, smoking, drinking excessively, promiscuous sex and extended sitting in front of screens, cause way more health damage than Covid ever will. Collectively, this risky behavior costs a societal fortune in insurance premiums and government subsidies. For example, the now widespread reliance on costly reproductive technology to enable conception by people who have either waited until advanced ages to conceive and/or whose reproductive organs have been damaged by STD and abortion-scarring adds billions to insurance costs every year.
If we denied insurance coverage for the expenses of treating the consequences of such risky behaviors as those listed above, insurance premiums would drop precipitously. We could use the savings to do stuff like house the homeless, feed the poor and protect our environment. But somehow, few people advocate withholding medical treatment from the obese, alcoholics, smokers and the STD-scarred, et al.
Posturers who seek to selectively withhold medical insurance miss the mark in another fundamentally important way: they greatly overvalue medical treatment. While the Medical/Pharma industry has become America’s dominant religion and it’s heresy to criticize Med/Pharma, M/P is very cost ineffective.
The US spends twice as much per capita on medical treatments than does any other nation. Yet, we rank 47th in life expectancy. We devote 18% of GDP to medical care; over three times, adjusted for inflation, as much as we spent in the early 1960s, before medical insurance became the dominant model for medical payments.
From that time until 2015, life expectancy increased. But this primarily reflects the decline in smoking since the Mad Men Era; smoking cuts ten years off the average life. Additionally, people have safer jobs. There are, e.g., many fewer deep coal miners and steel mill workers. Cars are also safer. Life expectancy increased most sharply at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, when nutrition and sanitation improved. Neither vaccines nor antibiotics then existed.
Although the Affordable Care Act was hyped as a life saver, life expectancy has decreased since the ACA’s enactment. And many of those kept barely alive by medical interventions spend unhappy, unvisited years in nursing homes. Human bodies have intrinsic amounts of vitality, which vary somewhat from person to person. This vitality is time-limited; medicine can seldom restore vitality.
People who take good care of their bodies tend to live reasonably well for a long time. Those who don’t, struggle and die younger, despite repeated medical interventions. Medical treatment can worsen health. For example, listen to the litany of side effects enumerated at the end of Pharma ads. There’s plenty of iatrogenic injury and death; medical errors cause between 250,000-400,000 deaths each year.
If, instead of requiring everyone to have medical insurance, employers paid employees the dollar value of their medical insurance policies, people could work less and take better care of their health: sleep, exercise more, do activities they like and buy better food. They’d live longer, and more happily. But the Medical Industrial Complex would lose its deep, wide, compulsorily-derived revenue stream; it’s not a stream, it’s the Amazon, Nile and Zambezi combined. As the MIC rules the US, that’s a deal breaker.
But let me dream for one more paragraph. Uninsured people could shop for, and evaluate, medical care like they choose other services. They could weigh options and perceived value, and purchase or decline to purchase various services. In order to save money, they might be more motivated to take care of themselves. Then, like Professor Sisler, instead of crediting some hospital system, doctor or drug for bailing them out, they could pat themselves on the back and take credit for maintaining their own health. It would be a truer narrative than crediting the MIC.
I’m never taking these vastly overrated, harmful shots. But let’s make a deal: you can take away my medical insurance if you rebate to me the decades of excess insurance premiums that my employer paid on my behalf, and the tax dollars I’ve paid toward medical expenditures to subsidize treatments to address the consequences of the reckless behavior of tens of millions of others. It would only be fair. I’ll donate some of my rebated erstwhile insurance premiums and tax payments to those, like Sisler, whose health was damaged through no fault of their own.
My proposed agreement requires two additional terms: 1) anyone who has ever proposed taking medical insurance from the unvaxxed must agree to permanently stop spouting the misinformed, CNN/NPR/PBS/Sotomayor-esque Coronavirus demagoguery they’ve parroted for the past 22 months and 2) they have to move to Canada. Or better, Australia.