Wanna Play Doctor?: Prostitution Insurance


An odd little tale about a mythical America where prostitution services are insured through employers and government:

Once upon a time in America, an employer came up with an idea for saving on payroll expenses. He noticed that many of his employees seemed uncomfortable with the idea of paying for sex, even though they wanted it. So he tried reducing worker salaries by $1000 a month, and instead he gave his workers an insurance card that they could present to prostitutes whenever the workers wanted their services….

Both consumers and the providers of prostitution services became accustomed to using insurance cards. Paying for sex directly was frowned upon as something no decent, middle-class person would do. Instead, the first thing that would happen when a consumer visited a brothel or a prostitute was that the consumer would present his insurance card to be photocopied.

Later in this parable, a few brave economists argue that "Americans ought to try to get over their discomfort with paying for sex." This would reduce the costs of prostitution, they say. Unfortunately,

most people, particularly prostitutes, were outraged by the economist's suggestions. The idea of paying for sex was too offensive to contemplate. So the existing prostitution insurance system kept stumbling along.

Read the whole thing at TCS Daily.