We are ideal victims

To the editor:

Those of us with reasonably good health insurance know that it’s nearly impossible to determine the cost of a treatment or therapy until weeks or even months have passed. We must keep track of bills and explanation of benefits statements until we finally figure out the amount we owe.

There must be a price list somewhere but we are kept in the dark. We’re kept guessing and we’re glad when it’s all over. Until the next time. This serves the interest of insurance companies, it enriches a very few and provides jobs for those tasked with explaining everything while informing us not at all.

The billing can be worse than the illness and were are so relieved when it’s over that we don’t fight back and demand medical care with a clear price attached. And the opinion-making class has convinced us to expect nothing better. What ideal customers we are for the predators who run things.

So too when it comes to filing the federal income tax. Again the citizen is in the dark. The tax code is so complex that no one person — maybe no 10 people — can hope to understand it. Those who rule are overjoyed when we blame the IRS for implementing rules that were passed by Congress at the direction of a multitude of special interests. Lobbyists and pundits are always on hand and ready to encourage us to believe that lower rates and fewer tax brackets equal simplicity and clarity. But we never find out who pays taxes and who gets off. Here, as with health care, the citizens are assigned a dark corner and told to be patient while a judgment is handed down.

What ideal victims we are. Always worried, always uncertain, always paying but never understanding how the system works. We blame the government or each other. Meanwhile, the benevolent CEO smiles and gives thanks that the American public continues to follow orders.

John Rucki