On the one hand I don’t want this blog to get too political. On the other hand, how can I not discuss politics when the government is talking about taking healthcare away from millions of people!?
There is a lot I want to say, and I can’t say it all at this moment, but rest assured I will be back to discuss it another day!
For today I want to talk about this feeling that the government is trying to kill us, and how healthy, working people respond to that.
You see, I have said many times that the government is trying to kill us. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look at that link above. Many healthy friends with jobs think it’s an exaggeration. Most of them will have health insurance through their employers. It might cost more, but they can make up the difference if they cut back in other areas. They hate it, but it won’t kill them.
And if they did lose their insurance, it would suck, but they could cough up the money for the occasional doctor visit or antibiotic. They would hate it, but it wouldn’t kill them.
Then there are people like me. I’m not nearly as well off as they are, but not as badly off as many of my other friends. Because most of my health conditions are pretty stable. If I miss a medication for a few months my health would decline, but I wouldn’t die immediately. I have savings and supportive parents who can afford to help me to a certain extent. We could find a way to cover my more basic health costs for many years. And maybe I would skip seeing the doctors who didn’t feel entirely necessary (though really, I try not to see doctors unless it’s necessary!) And hopefully, eventually, a new political party in office would fix things. We could cover the gap. Besides, I am likely to have some insurance coverage, even though it would be greatly reduced.
But then there are other friends of mine, not to mention the many strangers I have never met. These are people who do not have safety nets. They are more likely to lose their insurance altogether and they do not have the money to cover the costs. For these people, there will be no way to see a doctor or take a prescription. Even worse, many of them have illnesses that will quickly kill them.
These are limited examples, of course. I’m not getting into the many thousands who will become bankrupt and the many other thousands who will have to quit their jobs due to poor health.
These are horrible circumstances. Any reasonable person is upset by this. And then we remember…. our politicians are the ones who want to do this to us. A handful of people with high salaries and kick-ass health insurance (congresspeople have the best health insurance in the country) are deciding whether people like me will be able to see the doctors we need to see.
If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning, then you know I was working when I started it. I hated to leave my job, but there was no way I could continue to work. I spent years fighting for the benefits I had paid for and deserved. It was a miserable road and I was horribly sick. Now, finally, my health is improving! It is not perfect by any means, but it’s so much better! I’m even looking for ways to start doing a little bit of paid work. This new health insurance situation could destroy that progress. It could stop me from earning any money at all. It could dash my dreams permanently, by making my health worse in a way I might not be able to recover from.
If that sounds dramatic, good! Because it IS dramatic! We are talking about taking away the ability for people to care for their health.
Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege reserved for the rich. But that is what the republicans in this country want. They want to give more money to the rich even if it means killing the poor.
They should be ashamed of themselves. They are voting to kill us.
“Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege reserved for the rich.”
I’m not rich by any measure. The beater with over 200,000 miles on it is testament to that.
I have, however, made choices in life that have led me to a career that provides health insurance for me and my family.
Other who have made different choices apparently want me to pay more taxes so that they don’t have to pay for insurance.
Serious question: Why is it fair for me to have to pay for other people’s decisions?
You’re right that not everyone with access to health insurance is rich. However, the new proposed plan will only benefit the wealthy. They are the ones who will receive the most benefit from tax credits. It is great that you were able to make choices to give your family health insurance. It’s unfortunate that not everyone is able to do that. Some people are too sick to work (like me and many of my readers.) Others work at jobs that do not provide health insurance, including many minimum wage workers will not be able to afford healthcare without the subsidies. Still others, including possibly you, have employer-sponsored health plans that will be effected if this new healthcare bill goes into effect. While premiums might go down, deductibles and copays will go way up. That’s great if you’re healthy, but it can be a death sentence if you are ill and can not afford thousands of extra dollars for healthcare every year.
As for your question of why you should have to pay for others, I have two answers for that:
1) That is what society does. We take care of each other. Not everyone will use every service. Your taxes pay for the fire department, even if you never need them. My taxes pay for schools, even though I don’t have children. The idea is that everyone benefits when our citizens are educated, housed, fed, and cared for on a basic level. If you become too ill to work, wouldn’t you want someone to help take care of you?
2) I will reiterate that this is not a decision. I have never met a single person who said, “I don’t feel like working. I would rather live in the enforced poverty of food stamps and subsidized health insurance.” On the other hand, I have met multiple people who are trying as hard as they can, but still have to choose between paying the rent/mortgage or paying for food or paying for medication. These are the people who need to be helped, and I bristle at the suggestion by too many people that if someone is unable to work at a “good enough” job then they deserve to die. No one deserves to die simply because they can’t afford healthcare.
The news that we receive in the UK is obviously filtered by our news channels so we only tend to hear about the President, if something awful happens or celebrities. However, I believe that healthcare should be a basic right for all. I am sorry you are having real issues. Our government is trying to tell disabled people that they shouldn’t receive benefits etc. all in an effort to save money.
Hugs and sloppy kisses from Tu-Lei xx
Our governments are both doing really shitty things. I’m sorry to hear about yours, too, Lorna. I only know what’s going on over there because I hear about it in online chronic illness communities. It’s better than our hypothetical future, but not by much. Thanks Tu-Lei!
Here’s a fantastic perspective that a lot of us can relate to: https://tonic.vice.com/en_us/article/medicaid-affects-way-more-people-than-you-realize