Saturday, September 5, 2009


Sorry, just need to get this one off my chest:

I just received an email forward from a very Republican friend of mine that contained a link to some congressman bashing healthcare reform, likening it to "punishing" those Americans who have "earned" healthcare from their jobs in order to insure those who have not.

Now, first of all, there's the very simple argument that not every job out there offers healthcare, period. So if you want to be able to go out to a restaurant, see a movie, get your nails done, go shoe shopping, buy groceries, or even simply wash your car, well... those industries are all, ALL, staffed by people who, according to this fellow, don't deserve healthcare because they haven't "earned" it.

But all that is, believe it or not, beside the point.

What really gets me is that the woman who sent this email to me has never spent a single second of her life uninsured. She has absolutely NO frame of reference for what it's like to cross your fingers that your cold is just a cold and not bronchitis, because you sure as hell can't afford antibiotics.

First, she was covered by her parents. Then, she got married and is covered by her husband's medical insurance, which--because he is in the Air Force--is pretty freaking fantastic.

She never went to college and has held perhaps one job in her life, but when she needed to have major surgery at 25? The US Government ponied up 100% of the cost. Which is totally okay, apparently, because her "job" is being married to a serviceman.

I, on the other hand, have a Bachelor's and a Master's degree, and have been employed by numerous employers, a few of which provided health insurance, but the majority of which did not. I pay my own rent, pay my own bills, and have an exorbitant amount of student loan debt to qualify me to work in a field where, thanks to the complete and utter fuckwittedness of our last (Republican) president, there are currently very, very few jobs. So here I am, waiting tables and praying nothing bad happens to me, while I keep on looking for a job that will allow me to bring a little educational diversity into the classrooms of under-served New York City students, which, while rewarding to me and invaluable to the students, STILL won't provide health insurance.

So... you tell me: which one of us has fucking earned a little healthcare coverage?

Thank you. I feel ever so slightly better now.

The End.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm with you. Hi, retail industry, I work 39.5 hours a week and I get jack shit in terms of benefits.

Oh, and I get to deal with incompetent managers, asshole customers, and lazy coworkers all day every day I'm there.

It'd be so much more tolerable if I knew I could actually see a dentist. Or say...a therapist to uncrazy me.

Hope said...

I've been following this health care debate of yours for the last couple of months and I am astounded by the fact that there are actual people out there who don't believe in a government OPTION.

And this word--earned? It makes me giggle. You have to earn the right for affordable health care? Its insane.

Sure, its not a perfect plan but can't we all agree that everyone should have access to health care?

But what do I know? I come from Europe. We're all socialists if you haven't heard. :)

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

I was uninsured for over a year (just too much $), and it definitely sucks....though the current plan isn't the answer.

-Another one of your Republican Friends

the frog princess said...

TR - I'll be honest, I haven't even looked over the current plan... I'm too busy being pissed off about the education policies being pushed through. However, you can disagree with the mechanics of the plan itself, while still agreeing that everyone deserves adequate healthcare. It's the idea that some people don't "deserve" it, or haven't "earned" it, that truly pisses me off.

Jess said...

I can see quibbling over the specifics of the plan. But saying that people don't DESERVE healthcare? I wish it were unbelievable, but of course it isn't. Of course people say that. Because if we believed that some people are just unfortunate and that they work as hard as people who earn a ton of money and do have healthcare... well, what does that say about the American dream? We constantly tell ourselves that we DESERVE our success, we EARNED it, we achieved the American dream through hard work. Not saying that people at the top haven't worked hard and don't deserve their success, but why do we need to buy into the flip side of this, which is that people without health care deserve what they get because they could work a little harder and achieve the American dream themselves, if they really wanted to?

Elizabeth said...

Some of the insanity and incredibly flawed logic of people opposing this has been driving me crazy. It would be one thing if they were actually coming up with alternatives, because things as they are simply are not okay!