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.