Note: I am so angry about this that I deliberately did not cuss in the whole post so that even conservatives could read the whole thing.
I was highly displeased with the way the Edwards campaign handled the Marcotte incident (though I was tickled to think that a woman could almost derail a whole presidential campaign merely for being uppity), and his stance on gay marriage irritates me, but I saw him here at the Ryman and I felt like he was a plausible candidate.
But, after reading this over at Little Pasture’s, I have to say that it will be a cold day in Hell before I vote for Edwards. I won’t vote for someone who so clearly hates me and my people (that being working poor people who’ve had to go without insurance at one point or another).
Here is the one good thing about Edwards’ plan: apparently there will be some insurer, somewhere, who cannot deny you coverage.
Here’s everything that stinks* about it:
1. It treats all of us as if we can’t be trusted. Seriously, I have to give the government a note from my insurance company saying I’ve been a good girl? I am not the property of my insurance company. I am their customer. My individual relationship with my insurance company is no business of the government and I don’t need the insurance industry to vouch for my character with the feds. I mean, seriously. Let’s talk some more about how screwed up the relationship between the government, private individuals, and corporations are. I, as an individual, petition the government to monitor corporations because corporations are large, governments are large, and I am, in comparison, tiny. The government does not ask corporations to monitor me in order to make sure I’m behaving. Do presidential candidates not understand basic personal liberties?
2. It treats people who don’t have insurance as if they are deliberately defrauding taxpayers, even though people who don’t have insurance are also taxpayers. Yes, there will always be some small group of people who are working the system. And yes, that very small sliver of people probably can afford insurance but don’t get it because they find it easier to just use the emergency room when they have a problem. But that number is vanishingly small. Most people who don’t have insurance don’t have insurance for two reasons: they can’t get it because no insurance company will take them or because they can’t afford it.
3. My money does not belong to the insurance company. I am not cheating the insurance company out of money if I don’t have insurance. When I pay taxes, those monies go to government programs. If you garnish my wages, it is because I am cheating someone out of money the courts have decided I owe them. The idea that the government could, without court intervention, take my money and give it to a for-profit corporation is enough to turn me into an anarchist. Again, does Edwards not understand that the healthcare crisis in this country is not that insurance companies aren’t getting enough money?
4. The problem with healthcare in this country is not that people refuse to get insurance but that they can’t get insurance. In other words, the problem is not with individual Americans, but with insurance companies. What about Edwards’ plan addresses the egregious behavior of insurance companies?
5. Many of the people who are bankrupted by medical care have health insurance. How does Edwards’ plan address that? It doesn’t seem to be a concern of his at all. In fact, his plan does nothing to encourage health insurance companies to change their ways; instead, it gives them more income and the weight of the government behind their collection efforts.
Here’s what I want. Either
1. Single-payer insurance run by the government. A portion of everyone’s taxes go towards paying for everyone’s healthcare.
2. We make for-profit health insurance illegal and make denying coverage to people also illegal, with government programs that help people who can’t afford insurance to afford it. Everyone pays in, everyone gets what they’re promised out, no caps on coverage.
But this? Yet another rich person proposing a program that seems designed specifically to demonize and punish the poor for being poor?
*And note, conservatives, it’s all I can do to not make this post as full of cusswords as a bar frequented by sailors on shore leave.