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Paying health insurance is apart from the income tax. So in this particular case your income tax money is not getting you anything in return, healthcare-wise.

Worst in case of health insurance, the amount you pay is dependent on your income, not your actual actuarial risk. This means that, indeed, the healthy people working are subsidizing the costs of the ones "who don't give a flying toss".

And don't get me started on things like K√ľnstlersozialkasse...

I consider "health insurance" to be somewhat of a scam, just less so in Europe than the U.S. I feel like I'm forced to pay into a black hole with no accountability.

Don't know anything about K√ľnstlersozialkasse - "artist social fund". Is that like a tax to (supposedly) support cultural activities..?

No, more like a social security system separate for the artist "class". If you manage to declare yourself as an artist, they pay a substantial part of your health insurance, social security, etc... All funded by us, poor feeble minded workers with no creative bone in our bodies, to support 20-somethings and eternal Peter Pans who can't keep a job.

The K√ľnstlersozialkasse is funded by companies which utilize creative work such as publishers, media, ad agencies, museums, etc.

You are technically correct. In practice, I had colleagues working as "web designers" who were working right next to me and would not get a substantial part of their salary taken out for health insurance. So, they were still funded by the non-artists.

Why the distinction? Because this work involved Photoshop and mine used emacs?

As I said, the portion they don't pay is taken from companies using creative work. Not from you and not from me.

It is only available to freelancers. People working in those fields usually don't have the option of regular employment. For that reason was decided that companies using their work still need to contribute to health insurance (as all regular employers need to do as well). For everybody else the answer is: seek regular employment if you want someone else to pay half of your health insurance.

Alright, then. One could argue that the costs that companies have with this still get passed along to the consumers and other workers, but I will concede it is not "funded by us".

Still does not explain why there is a distinction. Why do artists get to have companies paying them part of their social security while other freelancers still need to make this out of their own pocket? If this is a good idea for the artists, why not for other professions?

German public insurance is pretty transparent about what happens with their money. Why exactly do you feel it's a black hole?

> I feel like I'm forced to pay into a black hole with no accountability.

Why exactly is it a black hole? Doctors need to be paid, too.

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