Saturday, June 06, 2009

I Don't Suppose We'll Get Another Whooping Cough Epidemic

So spoke the doctor in W.C. Fields' classic The Bank Dick. Well, it's certainly a doctor's business to work with sick people, and the more there are, the better business is. Perhaps it's pure capitalism.

So I suppose it should come as no surprise when health insurers invest 4.5 billion in tobacco stocks. It's kind of a hedge, I suppose. It's expensive taking care of people with all those pernicious cancers caused by smoking, so why not at least make a profit while those folks are killing themselves? It's a win-win.

Except, of course, for the Americans dying from the very same practices that line the pockets of their insurers. I don't know whether we'll ever kill cancer. But we could certainly kill the parasitical companies that overcharge us and leave millions uninsured, even as they profit from our suffering.

Personally, I wouldn't shed a tear for them.
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