Yes, many things can go wrong in life. Your house might burn down. A dying bald eagle might fall on your parked car. The difference with medical bills is that they’re so potentially huge and arbitrary that there is no preparing for them. You can’t just buy insurance and stop worrying: Insurance might cover your bills, but it might not. You can’t predict how bad your bills are going to be if you get hurt in an accident, because costs are pretty much random. I have no idea why one of my generic medications costs me $150 after insurance and the other costs me $15. It’s not like the first one works 10 times better, or a panel determined that the second medicine is needed only by people who are jerks. The extent of your money-beatdown depends entirely on how your body decides to go wrong and how unlucky you are.
We’re living in a society where an ordinary misfortune like a broken bone or a car accident can strike normal, responsible, insured Americans out of nowhere, and it could cost us $200 or it could cost us $200,000. There’s nothing any of us can do to prevent this looming financial shark attack, except be incredibly rich. And we’re all getting older, and most of us aren’t in perfect health, so why not just say “fuck it, YOLO” and spend all our income on monster trucks and golden unicorn statues? Yet you’ll hear people refer to this whole shitty situation as some kind of opportunity to learn and practice “personal responsibility.” Guys, those words: I don’t think they mean what you think they mean."