March 13, 2012

Have you heard about the health insurance plan that covers your fresh, organic fruits and vegetables?

It's real!
Last summer, I paid a whole dollar for weekly half-boxes of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables as part of a community supported agriculture program. My health insurer paid the rest.
But wait, there's more:
A meditation-based stress-reduction class I took last year also was eligible for reimbursement...
Meditation! You know what else is stress-reducing? Sex. Why don't health insurers cover that? And I don't mean birth control and Viagra. I mean sex itself. Isn't that where we are going? Sex is a health matter. Insurance is going universal, with extensive government-imposed coverage requirements. I think those who have to pay for sex — people with various (undoubtedly health-related) limitations that preclude their acquiring it free — should be reimbursed.

Yes, you have to legalize prostitution first, but the prospect of something else that people like becoming eligible for government-mandated insurance ought to provide the incentive for legalization. As with marijuana, legalization is achieved through medicalization, and there's never a stage where you're simply free and able to seek pleasure. The old restraints will be removed only for the purpose of locking on the new restraints. You will have sex and drugs, when it's your medicine and when you can be made to pay for everyone else's.

Just wait!

I wrote all that without reading the rest of the column, so I'm amused to see what the columnist — Chris Rickert — actually did with the groundwork that got me going. He goes from meditation to sex too:
You don't have to look far to find that sex — at least the kind of sex society values, i.e., that occurring in loving, mature, committed relationships — is a partner with wellness.... Depending on which studies you believe, sex encourages intimacy, in some cases might reduce depression, provides good exercise, reduces pain and may even reduce the risk of cancer.

If a health insurer is going to buy its customers kohlrabi and celeriac to encourage healthy eating, why shouldn't it buy them contraception to encourage more healthful sex? In the end, everyone wins.
He'd just buy contraception at this point, not an actual sex worker's treatments. That seems so unfair. Them that's got shall get. Those with benefits get more benefits. When will government level the playing field?

47 comments:

shiloh said...

America, what a country!

Triangle Man said...

If the cost-benefit analysis works out, what's the problem?

Pastafarian said...

You know, when I first heard of the Fluke testimony and the demand that a predictable, ordinary daily expense like birth control pills be covered by insurance, I tried to mock this notion in these comments.

I suggested that employers be required to offer insurance that covers butterscotch pie. Because a) it's just as health-related as birth control and b) I really like butterscotch pie and c) I spend about as much on it per year as she does on birth control.

Apparently, these people are beyond parody. I need to up my game.

Michael Haz said...

So then...overweight people have been overprescribed and can sue, right??

And what happens when someone who faithfully eats all the organic food gets cancer anyway, and croaks at age 43? Wasn't there a promise, at least subliminal, that eating the insurer-provided foodstuffs will prevent death by cancer?

Tort city.

Ron said...

So...what's covered by my "In Good Hands" Allstate sex policy?

or rather....what's uncovered?

MayBee said...

Insurance companies paying for birth control and not sex is discriminatory against homosexuals.

traditionalguy said...

Listen and you will hear the siren song of AlGore's chakras calling out for release.

Just please don't eat the cows!

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin cows are being forced to butter and cheese up the world, and no one cares!

KONY 2012 is easy. What the world needs is, Free Wisconsin Cows 2012. They are being held as milk slaves.

To the Facebooks, citizens!

LilyBart said...

Honestly, why should I be asked to pay for anything that I need? Isn't it rather inhumane to require me to toil for life's basic necessities?

EDH said...

Let's tie all this stuff together in one Grand Theory.

New theory: CO2 makes you fat

Danish researchers have announced a rather wild hypothesis: Perhaps we are getting fatter and fatter because of the increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere...

Orexins – which are neuropeptide hormones – in the brain stimulate wakefulness and energy expenditure. These hormones may be affected by CO2, and this can cause us to go to bed later, affecting our metabolism so it is easier for us to put on weight. But orexins are also involved in the stimulation of food intake.

Meade said...

Ron said...
So...what's covered by my "In Good Hands" Allstate sex policy?

or rather....what's uncovered?


Like a good neighbor, Sex Farm is there.

Pastafarian said...

Triangle Man, do you really suppose that the cost-benefit analysis will work out long-term?

How much do you suppose arugula will cost when 90% of us have arugula insurance, and it covers the cost of as much arugula as we can greedily stuff into our gaping maws?

Do you suppose that the high cost of medical care might have something to do with the existence of health insurance?

This is how Obama will seek to implement socialism: Through ever-expanding definitions of "insurance".

Darrell said...

You're too late.
There was that revelation in the UK about that chap that wanted an Amsterdam hooker instead of an English one and got one. There was a ruckus when the story got out. The UK health plan recognizes the "need" for sexual release with a real person.

Now the Euros were also pushing vacations with travel as a basic human right. They are so much more advanced than we are. Except when it comes to real science and medicine.

Sorun said...

Let's just replace taxes with mandated health insurance premiums, and our "health insurer" can dole out food, medicine, sex, and everything else we could possibly want or need. What could possibly go wrong?

EDH said...

Meade said...

Like a good neighbor, Sex Farm is there.

Sex Farm

Working on a sex farm
Trying to raise some hard love
Getting out my pitch fork
Poking your hay

Scratching in your hen house
Sniffing at your feedbag
Slipping out your back door
Leaving my spray

Sex farm woman, I'm gonna mow you down
Sex farm woman, I'll rake and hoe you down
Sex farm woman, don't you see my silo rising high?

Working on a sex farm
Hosing down your barn door
Bothering your livestock
They know what I need

Working up a hot sweat
Crouching in your pea patch
Plowing through your bean field
Planting my seed

Sex farm woman, I'll be your hired hand
Sex farm woman, I'll let my offer stand
Sex farm woman, don't you hear my tractor rumbling by?

Working on a sex farm
Trying to raise some hard love
Getting out my pitch fork
Poking your hay

Darrell said...

A better idea would be to sign over your entire paycheck to government. Who knows better what we need?

MayBee said...

Let's just replace taxes with mandated health insurance premiums, and our "health insurer" can dole out food, medicine, sex, and everything else we could possibly want or need. What could possibly go wrong?

Genius, Sorun.

It will be much easier, too, because the HHS Secretary will be able to just write new rules about how our "needs" will be met, without having to impose any budgeting requirements on Congress.

~N. said...

How does hormonal contraception make anyone's sex life "healthier"?

BC pills/hormonal contraceptives are carcinogenic and also increase risk for blood clots and stroke.

All kinds of stuff are covered by various insurers. I believe some insurers even cover Christian Science prayer sessions.

As long as these various non-medical things are covered by the choice of the private insurer, I don't really care. Hey, if you're going to cover chiropractors, why not cover the purchase of healthy food?

We need to allow private insurers to compete on the open market and across state lines. Make health insurance portable. Take employers out of the equation. Then, if some company wants to raise costs in order to cover some of the whackier "therapies", they'll find out the old-fashioned way if it's a viable business idea.

MadisonMan said...

I think my HMO pays for CSA shares, although the paperwork involved is a PITA.

Similarly, I can get a payback for Gym fees.

I think it's a marketing gimmick. God Bless Capitalism.

hawkeyedjb said...

"In the end, everyone wins."

Definitely. We can all live at each other's expense.

"How much do you suppose arugula will cost when 90% of us have arugula insurance?"

Nothing. There won't be any co-pay. And the arugula board will make sure the arugula market is fair.

I really don't know why nobody has thought of this before.

Mike said...

Add in massage--which a WSJ story today said is now viewed as "medicine". Add in a subsidy for chicken and fish and meatless Mondays, since the Los Angeles Times had a story today saying that eating red meat shortens one's life.

And how about a subsidy for Twinkies? It's well known that the first Twinkie ever made (in 1927) is still sitting in its package, glowing in the dark etc. If you eat enough Twinkies, whatever is in those things should keep you alive forever!

SGT Ted said...

The Medicalization of sex is the cause of the problem, not the solution.

The Medicalization of sex is the ruse to get government involved.

It assumes every health issue should be subsidized by either insurance or a health plan or the tax payer. This assumption has driven regulations that make health insurance unaffordable.

They do that by forcing insurance to pay for ordinary upkeep that should be paid for by the individual. Thus the medical industry has no incentive to bring down prices to what people can actually afford and to just inflate the charge to what the maximum the insurer is required by the regs to pay.

If we forced auto insurers to pay for the upkeep of our cars, no one would be able to afford it either.

The medical insurance model we have is an outdated one based on World War 2 wage and price caps and is broken.

Triangle Man said...

I think it's a marketing gimmick. God Bless Capitalism.

Part marketing, part incentivizing healthy choices.

Triangle Man said...

Triangle Man, do you really suppose that the cost-benefit analysis will work out long-term?

How much do you suppose arugula will cost when 90% of us have arugula insurance, and it covers the cost of as much arugula as we can greedily stuff into our gaping maws?


I don't suppose it either way. I think it is reasonable for a health insurance plan to offer incentives for healthy behaviors. I agree with MM that some of this is marketing, so the cost-benefit analysis is going to include market factors as well as health outcomes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If the cost-benefit analysis works out, what's the problem

And we wonder why the cost of health insurance keeps going up and UP.

/facepalm

machine said...

I can't believe people are complaining about being reimbursed for living a healthier lifestyle...

I get reimbursements for gym fees, athletic shoes, eating local vegetables, etc...the insurance company isn't mandated to this...is just saves them money if the pool is healthier...

Just bitch about everything, dontcha...

Triangle Man said...

And we wonder why the cost of health insurance keeps going up and UP.

Because there is insufficient use of evidence in decisions about health care.

/headdesk

Triangle Man said...

...also fee-for-service.

edutcher said...

Companies underwrite a "fitness center" for employees, so why not underwrite diet?

In any case, since the Demos are going down in flames over L'Affaire Fluck, they'll find something else.

But probably not A-stan.

Or Iran.

Or Israel.

Alex said...

We should be encouraging healthier lifestyles, it will save alot of money in the health care system. Imagine no diabetes, obesity!

Peter said...

Will private insurance pay for one to live as an adult baby, or is it necessary to use government insurance for that?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/20/adult-baby-claims-disability-checks-will-continue-despite-coburn-complaint/

Sigivald said...

Didn't "insurance" used to mean something that paid for unpredictable and significant expenses?

Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't redefine it as a constant benefits package?

machine said...

Wouldn't a healthier lifestyle perhaps help prevent unpredictable and significant expenses?

Blue@9 said...

Maybe the government needs to nationalize Victoria's Secret. And Eisenhower gave us the interstate highway system, but Obama can give us the highway rest stop sex stop!

cubanbob said...

machine said...
Wouldn't a healthier lifestyle perhaps help prevent unpredictable and significant expenses?

3/13/12 1:30 PM

How about moral hazard? You need to get bribed to be healthier? Why not charge a lesser risk premium to begin with?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Wouldn't a healthier lifestyle perhaps help prevent unpredictable and significant expenses?

No it won't. You don't seem to understand the term unpredictable.


Plus....Those seem like personal issues to me.

If you want to buy insurance for the unpredictible and significant issues that should be your choice.

If YOU want to buy more expensive insurance that covers your every itty bitty want (note: not need) that should also be your choice.

A healthy lifestyle is no guarantee of anything, especially not an unpredictible event.

You can live the most virtuous healthy super duper lifestyle and STILL get hit by a loaded logging truck.

If don't CHOSE to pay for insurance and you have an unexpected and catastrophic event. Too bad. Die.... or have your family bail you out. (Note: the truly impoverished have other support systems and it should be ONLY for catastrophic events. Not so they can get massages and yoga therapy)

I'm sick of you wanting to get into my pockets and making MY insurance premiums go up by loading up all policies with the crap that YOU want.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If YOU don't chose...that is.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Eisenhower gave us the interstate highway system"

Remember when government used to do stuff like that? I'll be they thought highways were important back then.

Pogo said...

I'll ask again:

If the government can make you buy health insurance, and can require it to cover contraceptives, why can't they also mandate that women must take contraceptives?

Can they also demand women have abortions, because 'you have enough children already', or because the State feels it cannot afford another life on its overburdened health roster?

Why not?

Being alive is already participating in commerce, by their thinking, so they can now quite easily regulate life itself.

Whether by desired number or allotted special class, they can now do so.

And why not force a pregnancy for needed parts, or just for stem cells?

If they can pay for you food, can they not also require you to eat it?

Why can't they pay for prostitutes like in the UK, and thus similarly demand that some women and men become prostitutes for this purpose?

We're all commodities now.
This must be one of the ways we're better off now than 4 years ago.

Pogo said...

In the end, why can't the State now just decide it's better off without you around, given as you are to overeating and demanding sex all the time?

Since it owns you now, via the commerce clause, why not kill you when convenient?

X said...

My health plan provides for food, clothing, and shelter first. It worries about coed/hooker abortion pills way after that.

Shawn L. said...

Prudential, "Get a Piece of the Rock" becomes "Get a Piece," period.

BarrySanders20 said...

"In the end, why can't the State now just decide it's better off without you around, given as you are to overeating and demanding sex all the time?"

Oh no. Don't tell Crack. State = wife.

Blue@9 said...

Remember when government used to do stuff like that? I'll be they thought highways were important back then.

What, stuff that allows people to get stuff done?

Pfft, we're in the era post-post-modern government. Getting you paid or getting you off is its job now.

Jane said...

In other news, Fluke is now back on CNN: "Slurs won't silence women." And "women go without" contraception because they can't afford pills!

n.n said...

Ah, dreams of instant gratification.

Sufficient sleep is also mandatory for good health. What else can be considered "health" related? Should we take turns or invite other people to offer their labor? Perhaps through a redistribution scheme, and, of course, it must be involuntary and diverse -- modeled on the American welfare system or earlier. We don't want to be perceived as prejudiced.

So far the American realization of left-wing ideology has a decidedly perverse character. It seems we will enjoy the worst of both worlds. That's not positive, but it is some kind of progress.

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