Health insurance: conflict of interest?

Another odd little chunk of synchronicity–I was just talking with my personal trainer this morning about how much I dislike insurance companies.

This Christian Science Monitor story[*1] distills a big reason why I feel the way I do:

. . . “When an umpire bets on the outcome of a game he is refereeing, he has a conflict of interest,” writes (one of the lawyers), in his brief.

“MetLife is equally conflicted when it decides whether a beneficiary is entitled to benefits. If MetLife answers ‘yes,’ then it is the one who has to pay; the beneficiary’s gain is MetLife’s loss,” (the lawyer) writes.
. . .
In a friend-of-the-court brief, the American Council of Life Insurers says appeals courts finding a conflict of interest have embraced “an overly simplistic view of the economic realities of the business of insurance.”

The reality of the business of insurance, in my opinion, is that it’s legalized gambling.  And the house (i.e. the insurance company) makes the rules and decides who can and can not play.

Insurance companies are not your friends.  Ever.  At best they professionally hold to their end of a gambling wager.  Sure, you get the occasional person trying to defraud an insurance company, but I think the much more usual case is the big, impersonal, uncaring insurance company steamrolling over someone who by circumstance is unable to defend themselves.  Like most crimes, it’s only illegal if you get caught.