Saturday, August 9, 2008

Health-care finance on the shores of the bay

We just enjoyed an excellent barbecue plate -- a half chicken [not the leg-and-thigh portion so often served for a fundraiser plate], good beans, potatoes. Very tasty, but a sad occasion, nonetheless. The sale was to raise money for a man who'd fallen off a trailer and messed up his back or broken bones or something. It's run up to big money, and he was uninsured. From what I know of the rest of his family he is no doubt hard working, honest, and useful. But uninsured.
Another man we know, married to a friend, got lucky and got a job with the school district. First thing we thought was 'That's a good thing because now they'll have health insurance.' Turns out if he gets the health insurance for the two of them, there won't be anything left of his check to live on, so they've had to skip the insurance. These folks are nudging middle age and work at the sort of thing -- lifting, bending, pushing -- that's apt to leave you with damage. They are as far as a human can be from improvident or lazy. They are honest, work hard, and contribute to the commonweal. They don't have MBAs from Wharton School of Business or stock portfolios or software companies, but they contribute and don't deserve to live in fear of illness or injury.
One of the malicious myths of the murderous wing of the Republican party [That would be the ones with Rs after their names] is that people like these are somehow loafers, looking for benefits at the cost of virtuous corporate executives and hedge-fund managers, people who work truly hard and deserve not to pay any taxes that would discourage their industrious life program of acquisition. As the laissez-faire capitalist crowd sees it, barbecue fundraisers are good enough for the likes of my fellow townspeople. They're not; this country needs a single-payer national insurance without mealymouthing to the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Time we caught up to the rest of the First World.

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