Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Knew This Was Coming...

The healthcare bill has passed. Teabaggers have screamed, spit has flown, tears have been shed, and although most of the bill's provisions won't go into effect until 2012, there have been some starts and stops already. Last week we learned that the insurance companies found a loophole allowing them not to insure children until the 2012 deadline. I've personally already spoken to people who have never bought insurance who are losing their shit over the mandate (which admittedly does sound scary when you only get your information about it from Fox News). The bill is not perfect, and there could be more problems. I hope it's a step in the right direction in overhauling our healthcare system, which is broken beyond belief.

When I say it's broken, I speak from experience, as someone who not only does not make a lot of money, but who has only had insurance---really, really shitty insurance---for the past few years. I won't go into a long breakdown of how my health has been negatively impacted by the insurance industry, but I am not the only one who believes the system to be in need of serious changes.

But this is the thing, and it may get me some flack. I don't care, I work in fucking retail, I hear that shit all day.

Thanks to Bush II, there have been a lot of wealthy businesses and people who have never paid their fair share of taxes. For those people, taxes will go up. I do not give a shit. Cry about it all you want. There are still others who have long enjoyed the privileges of the good life, Cadillac healthcare plans, great jobs at awesome companies who treat them well. That's all fine and good; there's nothing wrong with succeeding, or working for a company that is good to their employees (that's what we all want).

But if you lose some of your benefits, or suddenly become subject to cutbacks, remember that there are people who were much worse off who will now be able to go to the doctor. Real hardship is losing your job, losing your health coverage, or suffering a catastrophic illness. Having to pay more, or getting less shit for free than you used to, does not count as a real hardship. Yes, it sucks. But if you still have a roof over your head, food on the table, and a steady check in the mail, then that is actually pretty good these days. Also, I would wonder if your boss, or your boss's boss, had any of his benefits cut. Oh that's right, he's still in Acapulco.

It's not that I'm unsympathetic to people's hardships. It's just that here in America, there seems to be this tendency of people who have it really good to start bitching the second there's not a spoon in their mouth. Do you realize there are people who struggle, and often fail, to pay the power bill? Who literally have to scrape together change to buy their medication?

And for the record, my insurance has gotten shittier, my benefits lessened and my payments more. I fault the insurance companies, not the healthcare bill. They are the heartless money-grubbing assholes who fuck up everybody's healthcare, charging high premiums and then denying coverage. Hopefully Obama will not let them get away with more murder between now and 2012.

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