Your best friend has prostate cancer. Your former art teacher was just operated on for bladder cancer. Your mentor and ex-boss recently died of lung cancer. And look what just came in the morning mail:

“ATTENTION: [Blankety-Blank] Insurance Company has been selected to offer important cancer insurance. [Blankety-Blank]’s cancer insurance is another way to look out for you and your loved ones.”

Move over, Death and Taxes. Now they have canonized Cancer as another Great Inevitability!

“Awful!” my fond friend “Freddy from Fresno,” not his real name, responds. “The economy’s crashing, the country’s falling apart, the presidential election campaign has turned to crap, the world’s in chaos, but the Fear Industry’s booming. Lately you can’t watch TV or listen to the radio without being bombarded by this stuff.”

He nailed it.

“The United States doesn’t have a health-care system,” he continues. “What we actually have is a disease-care system – people get paid to be sick.”

How right he is.

And, as healing professional Pam Ladds comments, “Either we have health coverage or we don’t! The ‘disease by numbers’ approach is the worst of exploitation and fear-mongering. Instead of coming up with new and creative ways of supporting the already grossly overpaid insurance industry, scrap the lot and make quality, single-payer health care available for all.”

Now let’s look further at that loathsome letter:

“[Blankety-Blank Insurance Company] is happy to offer you this opportunity and encourage you to carefully read the enclosed materials. You’ll see why we think this cancer insurance is so important. “

Must we?

“[Your credit card company, not satisfied with choking you to death with confiscatory interest rates, invites members] to consider applying for this valuable coverage with rates starting below $5 PER MONTH. No medical exam is required. Coverage is available for family members. Benefits are paid regardless of other insurance to help cover co-pays and deductibles.”

They persist, bringing in the heavy artillery:

“What is your chance of facing cancer one day?

“The typical answer is 1-in-3, according to the American Cancer Society. And that figure gets higher for smokers and others with certain risk factors. Plus, as we age, our chance of being one of the unlucky ones increases … about 77 percent of people diagnosed with cancer are age 55 and up!

“And if facing cancer weren’t serious enough, facing the costs of treatment can be even more discouraging.”

Discouraging. You got it!

This is the kind of ultra-manipulative sales-pitch letter some faceless corporate cog somewhere gets paid $10G to create, whipping us into such a frothing frenzy of terror and torment we must act immediately to relieve the tension.

Meanwhile, mega-corporations pollute our air, befoul our water, contaminate our food. The medical-industrial complex diagnoses our diseases and prescribes their toxic prescriptions and procedures and products. Big Pharma reaps the profits. And then, one by one, we die.

On the return envelope, it says, “Thank you for trusting [Blankety-Blank Insurance Company].” Sure thing, pal. But trust has nothing to do with it. Can you spell F-E-A-R? Hey, thanks for thinking of me.

This wellness-worry-mongering is nothing new.

Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.’s classic 20th century book, “The Cancer Industry,” was a “shocking and disturbing” expose of an establishment based on a paradigm of perpetual disease – like the war without end our leaders are currently cramming into our bodily orifices. The front cover of Moss’ book featured this grim warning from the late Nobel-winning scientist/peace activist/ orthomolecular medicine specialist Linus Pauling: “Everyone should know that the ‘war on cancer’ is largely a fraud.”

Supposedly, one out of every two men will get cancer in their lifetime, and one of every three women. Responding to such sobering statistics, more than 10 million people in the USA now carry cancer insurance. For a long time, New Jersey outlawed such scummy coverage as the last state prohibiting specified critical disease insurance like cancer, heart attack, stroke. However, I believe eventually even they caved in and relaxed their ban.

Naturally, not everyone finds these practices appalling. Says insurance industry retiree “Glenn,” not his real name, “… I have no problem with any insurance company offering any insurance product they want to offer, and consumers can either buy it because they think it is good to have and the price appeals to them, or they can decline it.”

Aye, here’s the rub:


So it’s one of those bad medical jokes, isn’t it? Like regular health insurance, only worse. You pay, and pray the sickness never hits you. But your insurance policy doesn’t prevent the disease, nor protect you from developing it. And yet, paradoxically, the more you spend, the more money you throw down that hole, the safer you may feel, because, well, we all know money is an invisible Gardol Shield preventing bad things from happening to good people. Isn’t it?

Some days, you simply wish the mail never comes!

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