Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Empathy...get some

A former co-worker, let's call her Ellen, recently friended my wife on Facebook. My wife unfriended her after a few weeks. She turned out to be one of those people.

Ellen is on a crusade against Obamacare. She posted a link to The Heritage Foundation data on insurance costs under Obamacare. My wife replied that Heritage is not a source of reliable data, given that it's headed by Jim-we'll make ACA Obama's Waterloo-DeMint. Ellen responded that back in 2009, Obama said some stuff that wasn't true, "specifically about Obamacare". Of course, Ellen didn't specifically say what she was specifically talking about.

In the comments, Ellen continued to rant about all her friends who were going to end up paying more for their insurance. She didn't specifically say what her friends' income levels are, or whether they were paying more for better insurance. Also, no mention of how she could attribute the increase specifically to Obamacare. After all, insurance costs have been going up at an alarming rate every year for decades. That's sort of the whole fucking point of health care reform.

But this is what really pisses me off. Ellen has worked at the same giant corporation for  almost 20 years. She is surely making six figures. Ellen recently went through a two year battle with cancer. She is taking care of her mother who has Alzheimer's. Ellen is scheduled for oral surgery this week. All of this was disclosed on Facebook. Clearly, Ellen has lots of experience with the health care system. Ellen's employer-provided health care is subsidized by the government. Her mother's health care is likely provided entirely by the government in the form of Medicare or Medicaid.

I could be a dick and bitch and moan about that. You know what really drives up insurance costs? Sick people! People who get cancer and Alzheimer's and need oral surgery!

Instead, I have empathy. I'm glad that I don't have cancer. I'm glad that my mother doesn't have Alzheimer's. I'm glad that I don't need a root canal. I'm glad that Ellen and her mother are getting the care they need. However, I want the same for all people and their mothers, not just those that have the luxury of a well paid job with lavish government-subsidized employer-provided health insurance. If that means Ellen and her well-off friends pay a bit more, they should be thankful to be in such a fortunate position.