Giving up their healthcare isn’t the right thing to ask

So, Chuck Schumer is joining the chorus of “progressives” recommending that Republicans who oppose healthcare reform should give up their government-sponsored healthcare benefits.

While I don’t disagree with the principle (you hate public services, don’t use them), I think the argument here is really weak.  Why?  Because the millionaires who comprise most of the US Congress can afford to give up their government healthcare.  In other words, their hypocrisy isn’t the real problem.  The real problem is the utter failure of empathy that drives rich bastards to argue that poor people deserve to suffer and die because they’re poor.

So the proposal should go something like this:

Try living for a year on the very low pay and extremely poor benefits, if any, that most current US citizens are living on.  See what it feels like to have to choose between medicine and food for your kids.  See what it feels like to know you need medical help but simply can’t afford it.  See what it feels like to send your hungry children to school because you had to help your ailing parents pay for medicine.  See what it feels like to get booted off an insurance policy because of some trumped-up pre-existing condition (this happened to me; fortunately, the condition wasn’t anything life-threatening).

Then come back and tell the rest of us that we don’t deserve access to reasonable healthcare at reasonable prices.

If Republicans aren’t willing to experience the kind of life they’re causing others to have to live because of their extraordinary greed and cruelty, they should at least have to cop to their inhumaneness at loud, in public, every minute of every day.

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4 Responses to Giving up their healthcare isn’t the right thing to ask

  1. David Kellogg says:

    An excellent post, Seth; the level of disconnect between most Congresscritters and their constituents is vast indeed. One caveat: those who oppose health care reform would not say they think others “don’t deserve access to reasonable healthcare at reasonable prices.” Rather, they think the free [sic] market will magically provide such healthcare, all on its own.

    • sethkahn says:

      Thanks, Dave. I think you’re right about what conservatives would say. That doesn’t make it any less of a lie. If a single member of the GOP had actually done anything substantive to support free-market capitalism, instead of state-sponsored corporatism, then we might have an honest version of that debate.

  2. Laurie Ann says:

    As always, wonderful, Seth. Permission to share the link to this page?

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