Filed under: Health
There’s a video that’s been making the rounds of an interview with a right-wing anti-health-reform protestor who, shortly after the interview was shot, apparently shouted “Heil Hitler!” in the face of a Jewish man who supports health insurance reform. One thing, I’ve found, that’s irritating with white Christians in America who use insulting vocabulary drawn from conflicts over racism and bigotry that have nothing to do with them, is that there’s really nothing you can shout back at them that makes them understand just how offensive they’re being; they’ve simply never had the experience of being a fearful, discriminated-against minority, and they don’t have a clue what it feels like. The demonstrative response would be to round them and their families up at gunpoint, shave their heads, load them onto boxcars, let them spend about 72 hours in transit without food or water, unload them and tell them they must choose which one of their kids gets gassed to death immediately, and then say, “Okay, now it would be appropriate for you to yell ‘Heil Hitler!’ at me.” But you can’t really do that.
But what really blew my mind, watching the interview with this woman, is that about a minute in, she explains that the reason she’s so cheesed off at the idea of illegal immigrants getting health insurance in America (which, obviously, would not actually happen under the House proposal) is that her husband doesn’t have health insurance. “My husband doesn’t have insurance. I mean, I’m lucky, I have it through my work, but my husband has two jobs — no, he has three jobs, or two and a half. He doesn’t have health care. So, you know, it’s not a natural-born right.” Check out the video, courtesy of TalkingPointsMemo:
God in Hemel. How on Earth has this basically decent woman been so beaten down by the malign brain-viruses of international capitalism that she has actually got it through her head that because her husband, who works two and half jobs, has no health insurance, the important thing is to make sure nobody else has it either? Why on Earth does she not realize that the point is that her husband deserves health insurance? Whose interests does she think she is serving by making sure that nobody passes legislation that would, horror of horrors, help her husband get health insurance? “It’s not a natural-born right,” she says. As a factual observation, this is correct — in the US, health insurance is not a natural-born right. Guess what? In the Netherlands, it is! In France, it is! In the UK, it is! In Canada, it is! In Germany, it is! In Japan, it is! In Taiwan, it is! In South Korea, it is! In Italy, it is! In Switzerland, it is! In Sweden, it is! In Spain, it is! In Finland, it is! In Denmark, it is! In bloody Ireland, it is!
But you know who’s really crazy? Not her. Me. I got no dog in this fight. I get my health care through the Netherlands. Currently my family (me, the wife, 2 kids) has a worldwide health insurance policy that covers us anywhere in the world, with no deductible, unlimited expenses, prescription drugs, major dental, the works, for under $9000 a year. You can’t get that in the States for $14,000; I’m not sure how much it would cost. There are those who insist the reason why European health care is so cheap is that American health care is subsidizing all the innovation. Hey, whatever. You want to believe that, fine; go ahead and keep paying for my cheap health care, Americans! If you feel like you need some excuse to convince yourselves that you should keep paying twice as much as Europeans to get the same care, and the unsubstantiated concept that you are somehow paying for Europeans’ health care works for you, then fine. It’s got nothing to do with me.
Or that should be my attitude. But what makes me crazy is that I actually care about this whole American debate. It actually makes me furious and sad that this woman has talked herself into the idea that it would be worse if her husband did have a right to health insurance, because then some illegal aliens might get it, too. That actually winds me up. Which is ridiculous. My health insurance situation is great. I’m paying half what I’d be paying the States. I get everything I need. Over in the US there’s some bizarre argument going on where insurance companies are insisting that everyone should keep paying twice as much as I do, and that Americans are somehow paying my bills too, and that this, if true, is somehow a reason to keep paying twice as much as I do; and for whatever crazy reason, half of Americans themselves seem to not only believe these insurance company talking points, but have fervently adopted them and are pouring into the streets to accuse Jews of being Hitler in support of them. I should be saying: whatever with your insane bullshit, I live in Holland. Maybe you don’t have a right to health insurance, but I do. I should leave it alone. But somehow I can’t.
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