Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Why should I pay the same as everyone else for my health insurance?

They say that if you want to grow old, you should not smoke, always wear a seatbelt and pick your biological parents wisely.

The only deadly illness that ran in my family was Zyklon B. I use public transportation but when I sit anywhere in a vehicle that has safety belts, I use them. And let’s say I don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol, don’t overeat, don’t snack or nash junk foods, don’t drink or eat caffeine, never use painkillers, tranquilizers or sleeping pills, go to therapy regularly, eat strictly vegan with lots of veggies, use only olive oil, don’t sleep around, sleep enough, eat whole-flour bread with peanut butter without salt or sugar, add no hot peppers, salt or sugar to any dishes, eat whole pasta and rice, be active and move around all day, never watch TV, work out, have an ideal body weight, blood pressure and sugar, I believe in G^d and the high Ideals and Directives of Judaism and I pray regularly — all things that are very good for one’s health (about 2 I are lied here).

Then, why should I pay the same premium as someone who chronically chooses to travels by car and without safety belt, to smoke, drink alcohol, overeat, eat sweets and junk foods, drink and eat chocolate, coffee, tea, and cola, constantly use painkillers, tranquilizers or sleeping pills, go to therapy regularly, eat meats, eggs, milk, fish, and honey, eat veggies only as decoration, use bad oils, sleep around, sleep too little, eats white-flour bread with jam, salami or cheese, add hot peppers, salt, and sugar to all dishes, eat white pasta and rice, sit or stand all day, watch TV, never work out, and is greatly overweight and has a high blood pressure and sugar, do not believe in anything ethical and certainly do not pray — all things that are detrimental to one’s health?

I asked my health fund. And this is what the lady at my branch said: What has your lifestyle to do with how much you pay? (She actually said: “Mah kesher” which translates as “So what?” Spoken Hebrew is very efficient.)

For 25 years, I paid my health fund monthly some NIS 100 for additional coverage. Your doctor’s visits are then free, you get some discounts here or there. But suddenly it dawned on me that I paid them NIS 30,000 and received maybe NIS 2,000 in perks. No more.

Now, I pay for (hardly) any doctor’s visit and get almost no discounts on vitamins — and still, I pay less. Sure, your health fund will pay 50% of dental work but only after you paid them thousands of shackles premium. No more. It’s high time that, with my lifestyle, they start paying me.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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