"self-insuring" is a near-pejorative within the insurance industry's professional jargon. it's called "self-insuring" despite literally not being insurance. you might say it is widely considered to be a bad idea, perhaps an irresponsible one. this is somewhat self-evident within the framework of 'insurance' as a concept

what is 'self-insurance'? it's paying for unexpected cost, directly from your own financial power.

does the semi-pejorative, tongue-clucking connotation of 'self-insuring' contradict the individualist neoliberal/conservative ideas of 'independence' and 'personal responsibility'? why, yes it does

does this suggest that 'insurance' is a collectivist shouldering of individual burden in which the more universal the participation, the lower anyone's individual burden? why, yes

is the insurance industry as it currently exists a hellish vehicle for capitalist exploitation that should be nationalized, and would self-evidently be more efficient if it was? why, yes, yes it is

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literally the logical framework of insurance, the reason why 'insurance' works, directly implies that the maximally-efficient form of insurance is an insurance entity which serves all members of the entire human species, no matter what.

the concept of insurance intrinsically implies that its most perfect form is "a global entity that mobilizes resources to address every loss faced by anyone ever"

it is restrained from becoming this because of profit, an intrinsic inefficiency; because capitalists (who are extended the exclusive power to do things like this under capitalist society) create insurers in pursuit of their individual gain; and because the internationalism involved in that form is the enemy of imperialism, which requires that nation-states exist and assigned exploiter/exploited relationships; and all this, against the basic "good idea" of insurance

THAT is the EXACT sort of thing "the material contradictions within capitalism imply that communism must win" means

like a factory, insurance socializes the work of helping people who suffer unexpected misfortune,

but it does not socialize the benefits of this work,

because capitalists 'must' individually profit from it,

or because (for instance) a mutual insurance company operates only within an isolated region of the imperial core (and cannot socialize the burden/benefits of insurance across the core/periphery divide)

when we look at the insurance industry, just like when we look at the manufacturing industry, we find that the promise of these societal forms points towards internationalism and communism,

and the obstacle which benefits from these forms, despite standing in the way of their most efficient, most beneficial possibilities? is imperialism and capitalist ownership of 'profits'

this answers part of the question, "why are there so many insurance companies, even though One Big Insurer is its intrinsic most potent form?"

another is this: capitalists do want The Single Insurance Company, The Biggest Ever, if they could own and singly profit from that; but the only way to even strive for that goal under the capitalist system is to own One Of Many Small Insurers and make it bigger.

capitalists hate competition, because they want to own all the wealth, not share it with other capitalist.

but they love waste, because that's what 'profit' is! better capitalists who aren't them should cut into their market share than that their own workers be enriched and empowered enough to challenge the system of 'profit' itself

a monopoly on insurance, owned by capitalists, would be markedly different from the 'ideal form' of insurance (which, as I said, is internationalist and communist) because it would STILL be trying to deny claims. denying claims is Bigger Money

the distinction between "taxation" and "an insurance premium" is an artificial one

workers receiving the full benefit of their labor doesn't have to mean dividing all the cash in the till at the end of the day evenly between everyone present and leaving the till empty, none of that money going anywhere else

even if/while money exists, it could simply be "workers give some of the fruit of their labor into a big pool of money that exists to soften every unexpected blow to every person ever"

instead of being hired as cynical talliers who more-precisely meter a scale on which "death and suffering" must be balanced against "profit," actuaries/insurance administrators could be the workers calculating "how much suffering are we likely to need to alleviate this year? do our fellow-workers in other domains need to devote more of the fruit of their labors to the protection of people as a whole?"

when Marxists say that the socialist state abolishes the bourgeois state, they mean that instead of (say) writing laws that make doing all this vicious make-work more profitable and beneficial for capitalists and for empire,

the socialist state can facilitate and restructure industries to the benefit of the whole world.

when Marxists say that the socialist state will eventually "wither away," they mean this:

is it obvious that, when Mx. Thyme Brown becomes paralyzed, someone must delegate money to pay a doctor to treat faer, to buy faer a wheelchair, to pay manufacturers and designers of wheelchairs for their labor?

or is it imaginable that this system could simply consist of "shit, Mx. Thyme Brown is paralyzed. let me call someone to treat faer, someone else to deliver faer a wheelchair, someone else to let people know we might need a custom wheelchair soon?"

this is, of course, mutual aid as a pure system. but socialist revolution, the socialist state, is a logical path to that.

another unnecessary inefficiency/redundancy/loggerheads built into the capitalist insurance industry:

the insurance industry hires e.g. registered nurses, not to treat the insured patient, but to argue with the nurses and other medical practicioners who are treating the insured patient about what treatment is best for the patient

if the insurance company was not trying to be profitable to its shareholders, these decisions could be made by the medical workers who are on the patient's care

(also, it's not necessarily obvious that "moving money around to pay for things" and "coordinating the movement of resources in response to a situation" are… different things!

THAT'S what 'wither away' means. an internationalist, communist insurance system could continue to employ money indefinitely, as a useful abstraction that lets them move real resources around. the difference between this and "stateless communism" is not obvious, not intrinsic, and would fall away entirely as the capitalist world fades into the annals of history.

is moving money from a reserve to pay for restituting somebody's loss really, necessarily different from other administrative technologies, if "money" doesn't involve profits and wage labor and imperial extraction?

logistical labor, administration, coordination — once this is 'what a state is,' just one set of workers cooperating with all others, you have obtained 'stateless communism')

@Manurweibling@monads.online

this is what I think about whenever I encounter the argument that private healthcare generates some of the most state of the art care in the world - even if that
was true (and Cuba exists lol so clearly it's false), it would matter less than nothing because insurers are busy arguing that every patient ought to receive the bare minimum standard of care

@Manurweibling my best friend's little brother who was like my little brother became one of these bastards.... had to cut him off, huge feeling of failure when he chose that career.

@deathtoamerica it really says a lot about an industry when the fact that I'm applying for a sales job makes me more comfortable with the ethics 🙃

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