Greg Kesich’s column in the May 4 Press Herald provides an interesting insight into only one of many problems associated with the United States’ health care insurance. (“Republican health care reforms would make things worse”).

Insurance is normally — and I think correctly — used to protect against catastrophe.

Our automobile insurance does not cover oil changes, tire replacement and other maintenance. It does pay the cost of collision damage, loss by theft or fire, above the $500 or $1,000 deductible.

Homeowner policies do not pay for painting, repairing the furnace, or replacing a broken window. It does reimburse the cost of a tree falling on the roof, if it exceeds the $500 or $1,000 deductible.

However, Mr. Kesich (along with most Americans) expects his health insurance to pay the cost of treatment for an eye problem (and all other health issues). He (and most Americans) apparently is unwilling to get treatment if the cost comes out of his pocket.

We lay the blame for this on the “insurance companies,” rather than on our own misconception of the historical nature of insurance; namely, that insurance is for catastrophe. We citizens need to take responsibility for our own well-being, and stop expecting the government to take care of us.

As one insightful person said, “If the State is allowed to feed the child, school it, maintain and hospitalize it, guide and protect it from cradle to grave, then the State, except for a biological accident, is its father.”