Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fear Itself

health care, crisis, public, plan, liberal, obama, democrat,
I think I may have figured out the motivation behind a certain type of health care reform trolling.

Before I discuss that, I would like to say that not everyone opposed to health care reform is an idiotic troll. We've had some good discussions about health care reform here, and while I didn't agree with everyone's opinions, those opinions were researched and well thought out, so I respect them. That is not the sort of thing I am talking about here.

What I am talking about is the sort of person who sees a post about health care reform and automatically comments something like this: I WORK* and that's why I have health insurance. I don't see why I should have to pay for health insurance for people who don't WORK. Because I WORK.

That's just the most asinine response to the health care crisis in the US, and so far removed from reality, that you have wonder what planet they're visiting from. The US pays the most to get the 38th best health care system in the world. That's right, we're behind Malta, Oman, Andorra and Chile. I've never even heard of the second country before, but apparently I'd rather live there.

Beyond that, most of the almost 50,000,000 USians that don't have health insurance either do work or are not working through no fault of their own (laid off). Those that do work either work for a business small enough that it doesn't have to offer health insurance, or they can't afford the health insurance their employer does offer. Then there's people like me who have insurance, but can't afford to use it due to high deductibles and copays. I WORK is not a relevant response to these issues.

As I was fuming over the general stupidity of people, it hit me. These people aren't visitors from The Planet of the Trolls, they're afraid. They look at the world around them, and deep down they know that all those bad things that happen to their fellow USians- layoffs, bankruptcies, foreclosures, health crises- could very well happen to them. Deep down, they know this, and it terrifies them.

I WORK is the health care crisis equivalent of whistling in the dark. They say I WORK because they mean "These bad things will never happen to me because I play by the rules and I try really hard and no, I will not end up in a gutter, dying of a treatable illness. All those people who do end up there are bad, lazy people who did it to themselves. I WORK!"

So, if you're going to feed the troll (and sometimes, you just can't resist), hit them where they're most afraid.

*I can't find the thread I saw that on yesterday, but that is actual how the commentor wrote "work" every time they wrote it.


  1. I too have heard the "I work" argument a lot, and I think it is done by people who just do not or cannot, or refuse to understand that sometimes peoples situations in life are not controlled by them. Some people are just stupid. But because you are stupid and cannot get a good job does not mean you should not have access to health care. Some people are born in impoverished areas. But just because you live in an area that does not have all the modern comforts does not mean you should be denied access to health care. Some people work really hard, and are really smart, but have never been in the "right place at the right time" to get that job that gives them health care, but that does not mean they don't deserve health care.

    This view of the world that "I work" therefore I deserve health care, and those that do not have it have not worked hard for it, or do not deserve it is based upon a childish and black and white view of the world that glosses over its complexities in favor of moral simplicity.

  2. I may have Robert edit my posts from now on.

  3. My Dad has an employee that WORKS but my dad does not provide Health Care for him, he can't it just isn't feasible. His one employee doesn't have health care. So the people who claim that all you have to do is work can kindly SHUT THE FUCK UP!

    I don't have an answer for how health care should be. It can't remain the same and I am not certain that nationalized health care will work like it is currently being suggested. Something has to happen though and that is all I know.

  4. There have been a couple of really good science Friday segments on health care. The one thing that I appericate is that on the last show, they actually dedicated a good chunk of time to a real single payer health care advocate. In most media discussions on health care the "two sides" they present generally both bash the single payer option.

  5. I'll check that out, Robert, thanks.

    I think most people are with BeamStalk. We don't know exactly what would be the best solution, but clearly the current system isn't working.

  6. Most polls show that most people favor a government run insurance plan. My understanding is that when people think of government provided health insurance, they think of a single payer system. What people do not support is government PROVIDED health care, which means, that government actually runs the hospitals. IE, private/nonprofit hospitals. People think the government is a good way to pay for things, just not a good way to run things.

    A series of polls at my blog:

  7. that makes sense. i prefer the government provide a lot of things, but i don't want PennDOT running the ER

  8. What happened to the chainsaw gun?

  9. @Uzza: the big happy beachball of logical argumentation is big and yellow and round and has a smilie face on it. No gun, even with a chainsaw, has a chance against that.

    But on-topic: I don't see why so many Americans are reticent about, negative towards, or even sometimes afraid of, nationalized, or "socialized" healthcare. Sure, it opens the doors to corruption – but that's a ridiculous argument as it happens no matter what. You can't sell a pencil without there being some chance of corruption, so at this point that's simply not a good argument anymore.

    The point is, look at the countries with the highest-rated healthcare systems around. The majority of them (last I checked) were socialized healthcare systems (France, England, Sweden, even Canada is up there, etc.). There's more than enough proof-of-concept and from experience around the world to show that, managed correctly, it could be just the godsend America so desperately needs. People would pay less, so they'd have more money, so they'd spend more for themselves and that would definitely fastrack the economy, for one thing (but I'm certainly no economist).

    Just sayin' ...

  10. PF, that is certainly part of the issue - the same thing that causes women to send lists of things that they can do to "prevent rape" to each other - people really really want to believe that they have control, that if they do X, Y and Z, chance won't step in and cause something bad to happen anyway. so instead of realizing that almost every single fucking person in this country is a *single* bad accident, cancer scare, or unpreventable chronic disease away from bankruptcy, these people spend all their energy "proving" that *they* deserve the stuff they have earned.
    which is bullshit not just for the two reasons already listed (employer doesn't offer, or you can't afford what *is* offered), but also because of all the people who *can't* work but don't qualify for Medicaid, and is *REALLY* bullshit for all those millions of people who have jobs at large companies -
    that don't have to insure people who aren't full time -
    so most of their employees are not full time.
    hell, most of the places i have worked that involve food, the companies (Pizza Hut, Olive Garden, etc) don't have to offer insurance *EVEN IF* you *ARE* full time - they only have to offer it to fucking *salaried* employees... so only managers.

    but there are other reasons so many people are quick to jump on the "I work for my insurance" wagon
    one is because these people need a *reason* to look down on other people - having health insurance is seen as a fucking PERK anymore, a thing to brag about to your neighbors.

    another reason is because these people believe that they PAY, and so they deserve *better care* than people who don't have insurace - if we went to government payed healthcare, everyone would have access to *their* doctors and clinics. who wants to rub elbows with the unwashed, uninsured masses? not the "I WORK" troll!

    and last... fear - these people really think that people who don't currently have insurance, if they are "given" insurance, will *USE UP* all the medical resources, and then the "I WORK" troll will get pneumonia but all the antibiotics were used curing the homeless population and so he can't have any antibiotics. these are the people who don't understand supply and demand - if more people have access to healthcare, and are demanding more healthcare products, the companies that make those products will *make more*

    some few of these trolls are afraid of making more "super-bugs" by allowing everyone to have antibiotics when they need it (because they think they understand that, say, MRSA happened because too many people took antibiotics, when what really is the problem is that people took antibiotics for things that antibiotics *don't work on*, and *that* is where evolution allowed resistant-strains to happen...)

    and, i suppose, there are just assholes who quite literally don't want to "pay" for anyone else in any way, shape or form. and who are too fucking stupid to realize that they do pay for other people already - Medicaid and Medicare and almost every other social support lives off of taxpayer money.
    as do schools, roads, police, fire departments, 911 services, airports, the telephone *system* itself (the actual lines for telephone, optical, cable, power, etc, are put in and partly paid for with taxes), many hospitals, the Judicial system, every politician in office (Hey, i pay the President of the United State's salary!) - each and every person who pays taxes "already" pays for someone else...

    but all these idiots are seeing is that *their* tax dollars are going to go to the medical treatment for people whom they (the idiots) feel aren't "worthy" of their money - unmarried women, anyone of the wrong social status/ethnicity, people who have committed any crime, anyone who does anything they (the idiots) disapprove of, etc. this is the one that i think is most heard, because it's the same few people screaming it in every forum and blog they can find...

  11. dropped a word - that is supposed to be "unmarried PREGNANT women"... although, for some, it probably *is* an issue for them to "pay" for insurance for unmarried women, because they are misogynistic fucktards...

  12. It reminds me of women who subscribe to the "drinking/scantily dressed/walking alone" theory of rape - because it makes them think that as long as they don't do that, they're safe.

  13. Government funded/provided health care would be a grand thing. But take it from me, government-run health care is not a good idea. Our current government is enamored with private hospitals, so when waiting lists need to be shortened, instead of raising the pay for the government employed doctors/nurses/etc or instead of hiring more (which is hard when the pay is crap) they pay overpriced amounts to the private hospitals for them to handle some of the patients.

    Result: Private hospitals get more money than they could ever dream of, can hire the better doctors, buy the better equipment, and the government gets to be proud of bringing down the waiting lists.

    end result: someone like me will have to settle for crappy service, especially because psychiatry has been de-prioritized ever since they had to make the max waiting times realistic. That was one of the things our gov got elected on; guarantees that patients would be treated within a given time limit (time limit differs depending on the illness). When re-evaluating this system they decided that nyeh, let's skip all guarantees in psychiatric care and keep the rest.

    What do you think happened? Hmmmm, not hard to figure out. When hospitals are no longer obliged to offer treatment within a time range patients are screwed - but hey, as long as no one's dying of it, right? *cough*

    I wouldn't want to have to buy private insurance - 'cause damn... right now I can't even afford my rent. But if the government would provide the possibility for me to seek treatment and I could just go bloody seek it where I wanted - that'd be awesome.

    See, that's another thing. Patients' rights are severely screwed here these days. 'Cause when I'm not paying my doc directly, why should she make an effort for me specifically, she'll have her salary no matter what. What can I do about it? Nothing. I can complain and complain until I have no spoons left to live my life with, and all I'll be told is "That's all this health service provider can offer you - take it or leave it". Yeah, I think I'll leave it. Getting a prescription for psych-meds before an actual full diagnosis was made, terrific, once another possible diagnosis is suspected no one knows what to do, but why don't I just go back on the meds that made my life hell and didn't work? Yeah, that's a good idea. Suggested by a health care professional. Bloody good thing for her that I'm not directly paying her, 'cause if I were she wouldn't get paid. Unfortunately, my taxes are paying her and there's jack shit I can do about it.

    Anyway, just examples of how government-RUN health care is a really bad idea. It's all good as long as you have a government that wants to do it right and good. But the moment that government is replaced by their opposition, they can dismantle in mere months what it had taken years to build up. That's what we're seeing here in DK these days. A socialist gov had a reasonably well-functioning (costly but worth it) health care system set up. They worked it through, amended the mistakes. etc etc and after 12 years a new gov takes over and well... now all those who can't afford private insurance and private hospitals are fucked. They just have to hope they can shout loudly enough to be sent to a good hospital/doctor on the government's tab, and those of us who can't shout at all... well, see above.

    Can ye tell I'm not too happy about my current government?


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