|Source: The People's Cube|
I recently got some very bad news re: Obamacare. I blogged about that here.
When I talk about my ongoing struggle for my cancer care follow-up, which ceased when Obamacare was implemented, and care for a new condition, my leftist Facebook friends rush to defend Obamacare, often while ignoring or denying what it is doing to me as an individual. I find this approach – defending politically correct but demonstrably flawed ideology while ignoring its impact on real human beings, including the human being to whom you are speaking – abhorrent. It's one of the many reasons I am no longer a leftist.
On November 10, 2013, the New York Times ran "Daring to Complain about Obamacare," an op-ed piece by Lori Gottlieb, a woman who complained about Obamacare on Facebook and was chastised by her liberal friends for doing so. Excerpts below
The Anthem Blue Cross representative who answered my call told me that there was a silver lining in the cancellation of my individual P.P.O. policy and the $5,400 annual increase that I would have to pay for the Affordable Care Act-compliant option: now if I need a sex-change operation, I'd be covered regardless of pre-existing conditions. Never mind that the new provider network would eliminate coverage for my and my son's long-term doctors and hospitals.
The Anthem rep cheerily explained that despite the company's — I paraphrase — draconian rates and limited network, my benefits, which also include maternity coverage (handy for a 46-year-old), would "be actually much richer."
I, of course, would be actually much poorer. And it was this aspect of the bum deal that, to my surprise, turned out to be a very unpopular thing to gripe about.
"Obamacare or Kafkacare?" I posted on Facebook…Then I sat back and waited for the love to pour in. Or at least the "like." Lots of likes. After all, I have 1,037 Facebook friends. Surely, they'd commiserate…my respondents implied — in posts that, to my annoyance, kept getting more "likes" — that it was beyond uncool to be whining about myself when the less fortunate would finally have insurance.
"The nation has been better off," wrote one friend. "Over 33 million people who did not have insurance are now going to get it." That's all fine and good for "the nation," but what about my $5,400 rate hike (after-tax dollars, I wanted to add, but dared not in this group of previously closeted Mother Teresas)? Another friend wrote, "Yes, I'm paying an extra 200 a month, but I'm okay with doing that so that others who need it can have health care."
Frustrated, I observed to one friend who was covered through her work that when an issue didn't affect people directly, they became "theoretically generous." Ask them to donate several thousand dollars so that the less fortunate can have medical insurance — which is exactly what President Obama is asking me to do — and I'll bet they'd change their tune about "ending inequality" and "creating fairness" and "doing what's good for the country."
Like Bridget Jones's "smug marrieds," the "smug insureds" — friends who were covered through their own or spouses' employers or who were grandfathered into their plans — asked why I didn't "just" switch all of our long-term doctors, suck it up and pay an extra $200 a month for a restrictive network on the exchange, or marry the guy I'm dating. How romantic: "I didn't marry you just to save money, honey. I married you for your provider network."
Along with the smug insureds, President Obama doesn't care much about the relatively small percentage of us with canceled coverage and no viable replacement. He keeps apologizing while maintaining that it's for the good of the country, a vast improvement "over all."
And the "over all" might agree. But the self-employed middle class is being sacrificed at the altar of politically correct rhetoric, with nobody helping to ensure our health, fiscal or otherwise, because it's trendy to cheer for the underdog. Embracing the noble cause is all very well — as long as yours isn't the "fortunate" family that loses its access to comprehensive, affordable health care while the rest of the nation gets it.
The truly noble act here is being performed by my friend Nicole, who keeps posting Obamacare fiasco stories on my Facebook page, despite being conspicuously ignored, except for my single "like." It's the lone "like" that falls in the forest, the click nobody wants to hear.
You can read the full op-ed here.