“The last thing I’m going to do is not pay my rent because I have to pay for some state-mandated health coverage that I don’t think I need.”
Indeed, 57 percent of the uninsured used medical services in 2007, and all but a few do so within five years. …with the total incurred by providers estimated by Congress to be $43 billion in 2008.
One of the largest pictures on the front page of today’s Times shows someone carrying a sign that reads, “ObamaCare IS UnAmerican!” I do not pretend to know how to improve health care in this country, so maybe it is no surprise that I do not know — unlike every other white person in America, I am not a constitutional scholar — how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is actually un-American.
However, I observe that there is an inelegant philosophy of negativity that runs through the opposition to programs like so-called Obamacare. I can empathize with people who bristle when the government tells them what to do, but I cannot abide by critics who seem only to know what they do not want. For instance, I would respect placard-holding, antinsurance activists who apparently can spend all day outside the Supreme Court if they would also pledge to never avail themselves of emergency health care.
The person who The Times (and I) quoted, top, who said “the last thing” he was going to do is buy health insurance, is 53 years old, and he claims to be “in good shape.” Now, I don’t mean to say that his health is my business. Or to understate whatever financial straits he seems to be in. Or to overstate the over all cost of treating the uninsured. But when he gets prostate cancer or kidney stones or some other expensive-to-treat, easy-to-diagnose ailment, can I stand outside his house with a sign that reads, “Preventative Care IS Smart”?
Footnote: At the risk of mixing conservative oranges with libertarian apples, and after observing the virulent opposition to policies that largely benefit poor Americans, I observe also that there seems to be very little charity — e.g., “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD” — imbued in the operation of our so-called Christian nation.