What is Fair?

Happy Hospitalist says, “Life isn’t fair,” then argues that he want things to be fair for himself.  Because he chooses to live a healthy lifestyle and has had good luck with his health, he wants to be rewarded monetarily.  Why?  Because it’s fair to reward people for healthy lifestyle choices.

And it’s not fair for Happy to pay a higher insurance premium when he’s not likely to reap the benefits.

If life were fair, when Joe down the street smokes like a chimney and is going to cost the insurance company extra money, then Joe would have to pay more for his insurance and Happy wouldn’t be saddled with the expense of paying for people who’ve made unhealthy choices.  That’s what Happy wants, because that’s what would be fair.

If, however, you make healthy choices, but get hit with bad luck anyway, you no longer qualify for Happy’s lifestyle reward because life’s not fair.

Am I the only one who sees the irony here?

You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t ask for fairness when it benefits you, then say there is no such thing when it doesn’t.


See the post (and my lengthy comments) at Is Lifestyle Insurance a Solution to Healthcare Finance?

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Ostrich alert!

Found a very interesting article, Confessions of a Health Care Rationer:

My son summarized my new situation with typical teenage irreverence: “Gee, Dad, after thirty years of providing health care, your new job is denying it.”

It’s a funny line, of course, if somewhat harsh. I’ll probably let him out of his room in a few weeks. But his quip is largely untrue. Its bite comes from the fact that it’s not entirely untrue.

It’s a strange turn of events, really. After all, I have always been opposed to healthcare rationing. But, then, I have always been opposed to aging, too. I have come to recognize the fundamental similarity between the two. They are simply unavoidable evils (pace Chesterton, Cicero, et al.). The best we can do is to manage them with wisdom and compassion.

There’s more.  It’s definitely worth reading the entire article.


If you break a bone, or have a heart attack, or are sitting at a stop sign and get struck by a car that was travelling 60mph, it’s really nice to have timely access to a doctor.  When you live a healthy lifestyle and are blessed with luck, you don’t need to think about doctors.

Before I was referred to a rheumatologist, I didn’t often think about doctors or access to health care.  This pretty much sums up how I viewed the topic:

I recently made a comment on AF’s board that generated more private messages than I’ve received in quite a while.  Thank you, all, for the support.  I really appreciate it.

Since then, I’ve been thinking (believe it or not, that happens occasionally).  What if people don’t want to see my A2HC references here, any more than I want to see the topic on AF’s board.

So… Is Access to Health Care an appropriate topic for this blog?  Why do I write?  What makes a good blog?  What’s the purpose of this blog?  Why am I blogging at 3 a.m., instead of sleeping?

Easy questions first:

Much as I would like to do some sewing for my daughters, I try to avoid noisy activities when the rest of the family is asleep.  There aren’t too many things I can do that wouldn’t awaken people, so I sit at my computer and type.  (Only someone without RA would ask why I, too, am not asleep.)

As readers of my blog, you’ll realize that I’m not necessarily qualified to write on the subject of what makes a good blog.  Fortunately, two bloggers that I follow are, and have pretty good posts on this topic.  Read here and here.

Which brings us to my real questions.  The main topic of this blog is living with this *$%@& disease.  I don’t really want to regurgitate medical facts that could be read elsewhere; there are links on my sidebar.  My purpose is more of a, “how does this affect day-to-day life?” and “making the best of things, given a bad situation.”

Access to health care, unfortunately, is one aspect of living with rheumatoid arthritis.  If you have RA, your life will be significantly better if you have healthcare.  “Ignore it and it will go away,” works for minor sniffles.  Home treatments work for nearly everything:  washing cuts and keeping them clean so they can heal without getting infected, rest/liquids for colds, and acetaminophen/ibuprofen for headaches.  Not so with RA.  Ignoring RA, or relying exclusively on home treatments, doesn’t work.  It leads to severe pain, deformity, the inability to walk, and a shortened lifespan.

When I started this post, I thought I would say that there would be no future posts about access to healthcare.  But A2HC is crucial in dealing with RA, so there might be occasional posts on the topic.  I’ll try to keep it focused, I’ll try to be balanced (not political), and I’ll try to remember to issue an ostrich alert.