Chinese merchants, who were sailing junks loaded with merchandize on the Yangtze, early on devised the plan of sailing in fleets, to better protect themselves from pirates. But they came up with another, more ingenious method of protecting their cargoes.
Each junk in a fleet would carry part of its own cargo and part of the cargo of every other junk in the fleet. Thus, if a fleet of eight junks were to loose one junk to pirates, each of the seven surviving junks would still have 7/8 of their cargo when they arrived at their destination.
This arrangement was the first historically recorded instance of the use of insurance. And it illustrates the concept and purpose of insurance. insurance is a means of spreading risk.
The first form of what could be called life insurance was the Society For a Perpetual Assurance Office established in London in 1706. Each of the Society's 2,000 members paid an annual amount into the Society's fund, and the money was distributed at the end of each year to the widows and children of any members who had died during the year. The first modern life insurance company was founded in 1762 by Edward Mores, using the actuarial tables of mathematician James Dodson.
While life insurance has been prevalent in the United States since the early 1800s, so-called health insurance is a recent innovation, invented by Ship builder Henry J. Kaiser as a means of attracting workers to his Oakland shipyards during World War II. Kaiser continued the practice as a business enterprise after the war, and Kaiser Permanente is today the world's largest provider of health insurance.
Health insurance is premised on the building of a pool of funds to be used to offset the individual risk of catastrophic illness or injury. But it was never intended to cover routine medical costs like annual checkups or childbirth, any more than auto insurance is intended to cover the cost of oil changes or tire replacements.
Since Harry Truman, the US government has been trying to inaugurate what they deceptively call national health insurance, by which they mean using taxpayer money to assure every American free health care.
This is not insurance. This is not spreading risk – this is spreading wealth. This is what the purveyors of modern Newspeak want you to call "wealth redistribution."
"Redistribution," of course, is a Perception Control (PC) word used to create the delusion that the wealth once belonged to those to whom it's being "redistributed," and that it was somehow taken from them by those who have it.
Like all Perception Control insinuations, this is a lie. The wealth of those who have it never belonged to anyone but them. They made it out of thin air and sweat and mental exertion and anguish. To take it from them and use it to buy votes from those who are too lazy to exert themselves to make their own wealth is theft.
And that is what the Perception Control phrase "wealth redistribution" and the government misnomer "national health insurance" are designed to conceal – government theft.
Yes, there are disparities in individual wealth creation. That's because there are – and always have been and always will be – disparities in abilities between individuals. That's called reality.
But to attempt to override reality with theft is not only evil, it's futile.