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Seminal Watercooler – Food Insurance

Today’s Watercooler comes from a comment on reddit posted by "fgrty". The comment was for a New York Times article about how the use of Food Stamps has been on the rise in recent years:

groceriesI have an idea. Let’s expect people to get food insurance if they want to eat in times of need, instead of giving them food stamps. They can buy food insurance from private, for-profit companies. Those companies can deny benefits for misstatements on their food insurance applications, regardless of how minor the misstatement, whether it was done with fraudulent intent, or how long ago the application was taken.

We’ll rely on the food insurance companies’ discretion as to what foods they cover at what percentage rate of prevailing market prices, which is part of the insurance coverage, but which is never actually disclosed to the people buying food insurance, even though it amounts to a substantial portion of the insurance contract and significantly affects the utility of the insurance to the purchaser.

The whole thing will be implemented through a big bureaucratic claims process, with some food insurers refusing to provide benefits unless you get your food at the company store. And, get this, any time the food insurance company refuses to cover someone’s food, that person’s only effective recourse is to take the insurance company to court, a process that takes months or years and does not in any way ensure useful contractual enforcement to someone who needs to eat RIGHT NOW.  Who’s with me on this?

I must admit that I was over halfway through the comment before I picked up on the sarcasm. Quite clever, indeed. What’s on your mind tonight?

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Jim Moss

Jim Moss

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