Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Real Health Care Nazis? If The Jackboots Fit ...

By Manifesto Joe

What if a health insurance provider told you that before it would insure you, you would have to be sterilized?

That's what a Colorado woman told U.S. senators during a committee hearing last week. McClatchy Newspapers reported that Peggy Robertson read a letter from her insurance company. Here's an excerpt from the McClatchy report:

Robertson testified that because she had already given birth via cesarean, when she tried to get an individual policy in Colorado, her insurance company considered it a pre-existing condition and wouldn't insure her unless she could prove she had been sterilized.

The report said that the chairperson of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said that the woman's account "put me on the edge of my chair," and called the provider's position "offensive and morally repugnant."

"No one in the United States of America, in order to get health insurance, should ever be coerced into getting sterilized," she said.

Aside from the obvious gender bias exhibited in this incident, the Nazilike condition that this woman was confronted with reeks of totalitarian eugenics. This is something one would imagine happening in some futuristic dystopia, with common folks marching around in quasi-military uniforms and such. It was just being done in the private sector, and that's the only real difference.

Is Health Care a Right? Perhaps Not, But Neither Is Eating

Granted, the Earth is rife with sick people, and with hungry people -- millions and millions who have access to neither adequate medicine nor food. When you get down to fundamentals, I suppose there is arguably no intrinsic human right to either.

Consider, though, that the U.S. is, among developed nations, the lone holdout when it comes to providing universal health care. "We" (in the editorial sense) even do better when it comes to food. Although some, such as the homeless, are undoubtedly missed, food stamps are a savior for most of our indigent people.

So what happened with medicine? The simple and obvious answer: Money, and lots of it. There are several groups that are making a killing off the status quo, and those groups are prepared to do just about anything, even kill (the uninsured), to keep that money machine rolling.

There is no law I can think of, anywhere, that mandates that I personally provide medicine, or food, for anyone, anywhere, anytime. At a fundamental level, those things would have to come from the goodness of my heart.

Yet, I am forced to pony up tax money for wars I oppose, year after year. When it comes to paying for deadly force on an international scale, suddenly I am confronted with a collective responsibility. Call it "socialized militarism."

But when it comes to providing medicine and food for people, that ideology is turned on its head, and it's once more every fool for himself.

Chickens Who Still Support Colonel Sanders

Speaking of fools -- last week, before I read the aforementioned newspaper report, I saw an old, weather-beaten pickup truck with "Health care is not a right" painted in the rear windshield, apparently with white shoe polish.

No, and neither is eating -- until you've actually gone hungry. Circumstances like that can jolt even the most demagogued moron back into reality. Too bad such things can't happen more often. And yet, this rube's argument is with precisely the people who are trying to prevent that sort of thing from happening to him.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.


Jack Jodell said...

Fabulous argument, Manifesto Joe! As far as I'm concerned, though, adequate health care IS a basic human right, as is eating. I think the government should simply nationalize the health care industry for a five year period and ban all health insurance parasite companies as "pre-existing conditions" to teach those bastards a well deserved lesson. After 5 years, they could resume operation, but on a tightly regulated basis. It would serve the sons of bitches right and maybe even teach them how to moderate their greed!

Anonymous said...

"Golden Rule, which sells individual policies in 30 states, said it would insure a woman who had had a Caesarean only if it could exclude paying for another one for three years. But in Colorado, such exclusions are considered discriminatory and are forbidden, so Golden Rule simply rejects women who have had the surgery, unless they have been sterilized or meet the company’s age requirements…

So, this woman had insurance, just wanted a cheaper rate, and the cheaper company excluded Caesarians for 3 years (you get what you pay for), but since it couldn’t exclude caesarians in Colorado, because the law forbids it, they just won’t insure women who’ve had Caesarians in Colorado (so part of the problem is over-regulation on Colorado’s part). Maybe many women would opt for cheap insurance in Colorado and take the chance on not having a Caesarian paid for in the first 3 years of the policy, but that freedom of choice has been taken away.

Perhaps the Obama administration should stop trying to scare folks with sob stories that are not as bad they make them sound."

BTW, I've had 3 C-sections. The insurance with our middle child treated pregnancy as an illness and wouldn't pay for everything. Nothing we could do about it, so we paid our part of the bill - around $3,000 - which is a bargain for a healthy baby and not nearly the bill our former great insurance paid for with our first child, who needed a week in NICU.

Barring complications, it's not that expensive and certainly not out of reach of a one income family - which we are. If she wanted the cheaper rate, she should have taken the chance on not having another child for three years. If she ended up getting pregnant, she could still pay out of pocket - it's way cheaper than the insurance - or she should have stuck with the plan she already had until she was through having kids.

Besides, she had insurance and was covered - she just wanted a cheaper rate. She lied. I'll bet she lied about Humana turning down her "breath holding" son as well.

Manifesto Joe said...

Hi, Anon:

These would be interesting points of rebuttal, but I have a big problem with them. You haven't given me a source for anything. I would like to know where you got your background info. I simply read the McClatchy report and quoted from it. If you have more about this woman's testimony, and it's credible, who's the source?

Manifesto Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manifesto Joe said...

Anon, a second point:

Where do you get this "she lied" stuff from? She read a letter from the insurance company to a Senate committee. Nowhere was it stated that she wasn't covered by someone. She didn't say that. She read the letter from the insurance company about the denial of coverage. Aren't you jumping to conclusions? (But then, you didn't do a very good job of camouflaging where you're coming from, anyway.)