MINDY NEWELL: Who Pays For The Watchmen?
Unless you were vacationing in another dimension last week, you know that the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of the individual mandate for heath insurance contained within the Affordable Care Act, popularly known – or “unpopularly,” depending on which side of the aisle you sit – as Obamacare.
Which got me to wondering about insurance for the übermenschen.
The cost of cleaning up after the supermen give each other black eyes – something that seems to occur on a daily basis in the various comics universes – must be astronomical for the city, state and federal governments in which these manos a manos take place. Not to mention the individual cost to the poor schlubs who either work or live in these battle zones.
Imagine what it’s like living in a world where the odds of getting caught in one of those battle zones is over 50%. There are all sorts of “pre-existing conditions” or “Acts of Superhero” clauses in insurance company contracts, otherwise they would be either constantly teetering on the brink of bankruptcy – or after just one good fight between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, out of business. Add another deduction for SBHI (Super Battle Health Insurance) and your paycheck is a joke. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers “Fight Insurance” for those living in a “Fight Zone” – areas known to periodically sustain damage from the clashes between ultra-powered enemies.
By the way, why does anyone live in the Metropolis of DC or the New York City of Marvel?
What insurance do the superheroes and super villains carry?
I bet Stark Industries has a subsidiary that writes insurance for them in the Marvel Universe. I don’t think it makes money, probably loses money in fact, but accounting creatively writes it off as a business expense, and the rest of Stark Industries makes up for it anyway. And it wouldn’t surprise me that the company does a mean business in insuring the villains, either. After all, if Saudi Arabia can do business with Israel, why can’t Stark insure Magneto? Or perhaps Wilson Fisk has an insurance company among his holdings from which the bad guys can buy policies. With exorbitant premiums, of cause.
Harder to figure out how the übermenschen do it over in the DC universe. Perhaps the Justice League has incorporated itself and has created its own insurance carrier that it offers to the good guys. But I can’t see the JLA offering insurance to their evil doppelgangers – I don’t think they’re quite as business minded as they are over in the neighboring universe. Maybe Superman squeezes some coal now and then to make some diamonds to feed the pot. (But isn’t that illegal? Or is that like the Fed printing money?)
Who pays for the Watchmen?
TUESDAY: Michael Davis