Health Policy Discussion - “What is Insurance?”

This is my “official” definition:

Insurance is an equitable form of compensation defrayed to its purchaser in the face of injury or loss. A key strategy in the area of risk management, it helps its purchaser navigate the uncertainties of life.

Simply put, insurance is a way of helping people bounce back from the hardships of life.

People are willing to purchase insurance because no one knows the future; no one knows if stocks will rise or fall, if war will erupt, or if that tree will faceplant into their new corvette. While it is easy to live life hoping for the best (and some do), chance is always a possibility (see: Murphy’s Law). Insurance is an investment, but the return isn’t capital, it’s a hopeful promise to normalcy in the event of a time of hardship. It is a sacrifice of a short term gain, such as a monthly premium, for a future guarantee: if something goes utterly wrong, then my “investments” will help to pay it off or reduce the financial burden. Therefore, in a way, insurance (especially health insurance) helps put people at ease of mind, knowing that a part of their future is in good hands. If they know that if something goes wrong, and they will be covered, people can take reasonable risks, and pursue a life worth living (of course, then there are those people who take unreasonable risks to the point of endangering their lives).

House insurance, car insurance, fire insurance, all these types differ from health insurance in that they deal with property, i.e. tangible items and things that, at the end of the day, remain items and things. Items and things that can be replaced; items and things have defined monetary value (see: price tag). Health insurance deals with persons; persons are undefined in value, priceless. There is no (legal) way to quantify how many US dollars your arm is worth, or your kidneys (see: black market). Because every human being goes through this crazy thing called “life,” and because “life” has so many variables and outcomes, one can only guess that each person has potential that cannot be quantified or measured. Thus, the measure of human beings extends beyond monetary worth, and encompasses nontangible characteristics such as morals, character, and the pursuit of happiness. For that, there is more value in a life than an object.

For that, Blue Cross charges me $90 bucks a month. 

Never look back; remember that in the most wonderful legends, the person who looks back is always changed into a statue made of stone or salt.
Consuelo de Saint-Exupery

A good writer doesn’t have to be brilliant. He conveys his thoughts, emotions, dreams, and pains by whatever means necessary. He writes from the heart, and lays it bare, in full vulnerability, for others to see.

If you want every part of your life to be to the glory of God, you need a mission for your life that takes everything you’ve got. You are looking for a mission and a purpose that takes every skill and talent you have with God’s strength as the engine driving the whole thing.

Jed Brewer on episode 130 of Say That

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(via thebridgechicago)
(Reblogged from jedbrewer)

Sunsets are the most beautiful thing in the world. They are so encouraging.

Look at that kid. He’s fat and happy, prancing around in his milk and crocs, with not a care in the world. I can learn a thing or two from him.

Not to be fat?

Well, to be happy I guess.

Job Apps

Please take a moment to tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Andrew J. Park, though when I am bored or at Starbucks, I go by Parker J. Andrews, Attorney at Law (We will fight for you! Se habla espanol). In a nutshell, I love to travel, I’m quick with languages, and I enjoy reading Batman comics. I learn well from my mistakes, and have received an education studying the mistakes of others (I have an undergraduate degree in history). I delight in connecting with people in all shapes and forms, from all types of backgrounds. I have traveled extensively over the past five years, trekking through thirty countries and five continents. From all my experiences, I believe in committing my life to something bigger than myself. To that end, I have a passion to serve others and I strive to push myself to my utmost capabilities. As a result, I desire to become an excellent and caring doctor, because every superhero needs a day job. 


To know is to love. To love is to act.

Musical Chairs

He leaves, I sit. I leave, they sit. 

Such is life. 

All Quiet on the Middle Front

I turn on the bathroom light and lean against the counter, placing my self once again under scrutiny. And I crinkle my nose and purse my lips and form all manner of funny faces in the mirror.

I’ve always wanted to grow a mustache. Alas, the only thing I can grow is the reverse-hitler – two scratchy points on either side of my nose, with a bare gap in between. At best, it looks like a pitiful attempt at Fu Manchu, without the goatee. At worst, it looks dirty. I tried growing it out once.

 Once. It was a disaster.


Oh great divide. I dub thee No Man’s Land, for thou are truly barren and devoid of life. All quiet on the middle front, captain.

I check up on it every so often. It’s a weird game of connect the dots I play, only instead of dots they’re hairs, and instead of a game, it is my life. It helps to pass the time. A while back, I thought it would be a great idea to expedite the growing process; I tried rubbing Rogaine on the bare gap once.

Once. It was a disaster.

Perhaps God, when he designed me, placed the hair follicles for the gap two millimeters too high, because it’s the nose hairs that grow in bunches. And like the bushes they are, they require trimming frequently. I dare not say how frequently. It’s quite bothersome, really.

Of course, I don’t think God gave me enough hair follicles anyway, for that matter.

 It doesn’t help that I work alongside big, white men with bushy mustaches of their own. For reasons beyond my knowledge, it seems that great firefighters must have mustaches. So in effect, all aspiring firefighters, i.e. EMT’s and ambulance crews, grow their own. Big ones. Thick ones. Mustaches that look like caterpillars across the lip. And then there’s me. Asian me. Sometimes I wear a fake mustache to work. Walking down the hospital ward, gurney in tow, I pass puzzled looks, and while some people stare away, too polite to ask if it is real or not, there are those who laugh out loud, asking – with conviction – Why do I have that thing on my face? On occasion I reply that it’s a test of confidence. Oftentimes I say its for laughs, which it is, honestly, because I get the nurses to laugh, and the patients to laugh, and the doctors never laugh, because they never notice, because they’re too busy doing their doctor business and have no time for such nonsense. But in all honesty, I wear a mustache to work because sometimes I feel naked without it. So what can I do?

I’ve got to fake it till I make it.

I’ve attached too much masculinity to the mustache. Not just physical masculinity, but spiritual masculinity as well. I like to believe that all men of God had hairy faces. David, surely. Samson? Hell yes. Jacob as well. Esau’s a no-brainer. Jesus? Every western portrayal of Jesus Christ depicts a man with a sharp, long nose implanted above a perfectly trimmed beard. So this idea has been imprinted on me that spiritual men grow beards, which are mustaches with extra features. Spiritual growth will manifest itself on my face. Strange idea, but it’s stuck.

And so I stand in front of the mirror every so often, making weird faces, scrutinizing for any “new buds.” And I see a few, and get excited, because I’m that much closer to a mustache, and that much closer to spiritual closeness with God. Because aside from thinking manly thoughts, the only thing I can do is grow in all other aspects of my life, and wait quietly upon God to “fill in the gaps.” And I happily hum as I imagine what it will feel like when those two sides close and I am complete and I am Adolf reverse-Hitler no more.

 And then I trim my nose hairs, because it’s been a day.

Because, i think, in the end of my life, trying to become batman seems like a great side project to have pursued.

Love, the Coffee Bean

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