Ran’s the man

March 24, 2007 at 11:53 am 3 comments

Just recently, I came across the bloggy website of Ran Prieur. And was hooked. Ran’s the author of How to Drop Out, to which I linked in my farewell edition of Strike the Root last week. He’s also an accomplished Dumpster diver, and a budding gulcher with a piece of heaven somewhere out West, I gather.

Checking in with him this morning, I found him discussing ways to stave off infections under adverse circumstances – good stuff to know. And then he goes a step further – and this is what I just love about his perspective:

I get a lot of little cuts up on my land, and I know that a single hospital visit would put me in debt for life, so I’m careful…The problem is not that I don’t have health insurance — the problem is there is such a thing as health insurance! I think all insurance should be illegal, because it nullifies responsibility — it removes our awareness from the costs of something, and enables those costs to grow like monsters. Health care is a necessity, and all necessities should be cheap enough to pay for out of pocket.

If we had clothing insurance, a t-shirt would cost $1000, thrift stores would be illegal, poor people would walk around in burlap sacks that they had to make payments on every month, and Hillary Clinton would support a trillion dollar program to provide $50,000 outfits to everyone.

Hot damn! Exactly! This is no dippy liberal advocating “free” health insurance. He’s willing to watch his own six, and, when need be, to pay his own way. And quite justifiably, he thinks every other adult ought to be expected to do the same, so that it remains within reach for everyone.

I’d add that “health insurance” is a lie. What people get through Medicare, Medicaid and their employers’ group plans is medical insurance. Has your insurance company done anything lately, besides possibly a brief article on nutrition or exercise in its occasional newsletter, to help you become and/or remain healthy?

I’m told that in some “backwards” countries, doctors only receive payment so long as their patients remain well. If a patient falls ill and dies, the doctor has failed – and thus is not entitled to payment. Think on that difference for a while.

Understand, I’m not advocating such an approach, since – just as it’s not right to require healthy people to subsidize care for the ill, or young ones for the elderly and infirm – I also don’t think it would be right to punish a doctor for his patient’s unwillingness to follow a healthy lifestyle. You can lead a horse to water and high-fiber food and exercise, etc., but a lot of the “horses” today are pretty damned stubborn as well as stupid.

I don’t suppose insurance will ever be deemed “illegal,” and it shouldn’t, because there is a huge market comprised of many people who prefer what they think of as “security” to the challenges of freedom and responsibility. In the current situation, though, there’s a concomitant huge problem – the growing power, and dollar-driven psychosis, of the insurance companies, fed by the politicians who are eager to corral every individual in the country under the (ahem) benevolent rule of these Borg.

The insurers won’t mind a bit – after all, have you ever heard of a government contractor who actually charged the government a fair price for services rendered? The free market – combined with the utter separation of state and business – would be the true solution.

Those who wanted insurance could choose to purchase it from various providers under individually-tailored plans, at costs reflective of the risk underwritten for each client by the insurers. Physicians and hospitals willing (as independent businesspeople) to accept insured patients could then charge insurance companies for the additional costs incurred by their offices in keeping additional records and pursuing payment. Those patients who didn’t choose to be insured would be welcomed by physicians thankful for fewer paperwork and staffing requirements – and quicker, more hassle-free payments – resulting from treating these people.

And government would be forbidden to get involved – and that’s what would keep the costs within reach of everyone willing to support him- or herself. (I know. Dream on, Taran.)

Like Ran, and for very similar reasons, I choose not to purchase medical insurance. And like him, I see the issue as yet another one that turns around the bigger picture of self-sufficiency as an overall life choice. So, Ran, thanks for the intriguing things you write, on this subject and many others. You’re a refreshing and liberating voice out here on the ‘net.

(BTW, since Ran’s site doesn’t have permalinks that I can find, I’m not able to provide a direct link on the above quote, but just go to his site, scroll down, and you’ll find it under March 21, 2007 if you’re interested.)


Entry filed under: Big Picture, Free Your Mind, Gulching, Health, Living Free, Money & Economy, Outlawry.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sunni  |  March 26, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    He sure does sound like the man; thanks for the pointer.

    And … your farewell STR? I’m sorry to hear that, but I grok being busy/burnt out/whatever and needing to move on.

    Last thing: can you or T. please shoot me an email, at your convenience?

  • 2. Brian Nickerson  |  March 27, 2007 at 9:25 am

    With the guest-editing business now aside, I hope that you will be able to complete your previously mentioned project. I hope also that it will fully encompass and satisfy the artistic ambitions which inform it. Making a bundle couldn’t hurt either. Good luck.

  • 3. Taran Jordan  |  April 4, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Sunni, thanks for the good wishes! It wasn’t so much burnout as a need for closer focus, if you know what I mean. Email on the way.

    Brian, thank you so much for the kind thoughts. I’m very much looking forward to more writing time and will certainly keep you wonderful readers updated on the progress. And thanks too for the shot in the arm regarding “making a bundle!”


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