liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,
liz_marcs
liz_marcs

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More on the Class Divide

During a meeting at work today there was an actual conversation about awful "ObamaCare" is and how the "less deserving" was going to take advantage of it.

Me: *biting my tongue so hard that I could taste blood*

One of the participants actually said, "Worst of all, how are we supposed to pay for healthcare for people who contribute nothing to society?"

Me, unable to take it any more: "A friend of mine died from sepsis poisoning that was diagnosed far too late because he didn't have health insurance, which meant he had no healthcare either."

Result: Stunned silence that lasted all of a minute.

Me thinking during the moment of silence: I hope every single one of you feel shame.

And then they started talking about hockey.

Me thinking during the hockey discussion: I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry.

Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

What is wrong with people?

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They don't have the life experience to know any better, and that's too damn bad. Here's to hoping they gain some.
You're in Mass. right? Haven't I heard you call it RomneyCare? Maybe they need a reminder.

IDK. It seems fashionable for some people these days to deny the need for civilized institutions, once they've reaped the benefits of same. Why is it so hard for them to imagine that doing right by the less fortunate (did they really say less deserving? Wow.) might be in their best interests? Like, do you want the nurse/mechanic/plumber etc. providing you service in the future to be ignorant and desperate? If not, pony up for public education, ladies and gents. I know, I'm preaching to the choir, here, but I just don't get this headlong rush into barbarism.

Stay safe and sane, darlin'.
Good for you. I'm glad that you shamed them. They deserved it.

I have a lot of friends in other countries and they consider most American attitudes toward health insurance and health care barbaric.
At least they didn't say what a friend of mine at work said - people without health insurance don't actually want any,

There's this anazing attitude that "certain people" just don't seserve basic human services.

flaming_muse

January 15 2013, 01:19:11 UTC 4 years ago Edited:  January 15 2013, 01:21:46 UTC

Some people have neither a brain nor a heart and have a moral code that is insanely foreign to my own.

I mean, my MiL doesn't believe in universal health care... even though she gets free health care from the state and federal government and thinks it's amazing. She just doesn't think everyone else should have it. (And she doesn't even pay taxes, so it's not like it costs her anything.)

But here's the thing. It's not necessarily a class issue, or at least not a clear-cut one. I know huge numbers of middle class and upper middle class people who feel very strongly in favor of higher taxes and more government services. I know plenty of impoverished people who are very against them. It's a question of what frightens you, what your inner narrative is. My MiL and FiL have both been desperately poor, and they're both very against social services. I have never in my life been anywhere near the poverty line and am in fact quite well off at this point and would be delighted to pay more taxes for a social safety net I have never needed to use (there but for the grace of god, of course). Heck, look at Warren Buffet, who is begging to pay more taxes.

The Republicans in the '80s did a very good job of scaring the crap out of everyone that the government would like to take all of their money and give it to drug addicts on welfare, and that fear is still pervasive in a lot of these conversations. People believe that they should be able to spend money on Starbucks and new shoes every week, and the thought of taking care of their neighbors first is alien, or at least taking care of their neighbors through government, because my FiL would gladly never pay a cent in taxes (while simultaneously decrying the state of the roads) but would feed his neighbor dinner every night. Does that help with his medical bills? No. Do too few people think about creating the best society we can and instead focus on their own desires? Yes.

And I'm rambling, but I just want to pipe up to say that it's not just a class issue but an outlook issue, that people have been encouraged to believe that as part of the middle class they deserve a ton of perks like new cars and fancy coffees and homes they can't afford and that if the government has its way poor people will get their money instead of them. But there are also tons of people out there in the same or higher tax brackets who don't think that way. It's not just people who have been poor who see the need. :)

ETA: And I'm very sorry about your friend, and this whole situation sucks, and I don't know why this is even a debate in this country, because it's just an obvious and humane thing that a society should do to take care of ALL of its people. There is no less or more worthy. There is just humanity.
You make some very good points.

I also find a lot of people have the attitude that they worked hard to get where they are and if the poor would just get off their asses, they would be doing fine too.
It's so hard to separate the ignorant from the douche-y sometimes.

My wife is unemployed with severe health issues. If I wasn't working, she'd be incredibly screwed. Really, I think the failure on your co-workers part is simply an inability to imagine it happening to them. Their lives, apparently, are fixed at the minimum possible level of unpleasantness. And while I could with their eyes open, here's hoping the floor never opens beneath them.
I hate them all so much for being so fucking clueless and smug. What is the point in living in a wealthy, lucky country if you can't help those with less? Your own people, at that.
It's the result, IMO, of that old American set of values that encourages thinking that everyone who's successful has done it on their own, that everyone's entitled to get everything and anything they can afford. It's bloated frontierism/meism. It's antithetical to living/working/flourishing in the reality of 2013.

Reminds me of the gun owners who think that controlling access to assault rifles and multi-ammo packs infringes on their right to kill a deer with 20 bullets.

Hold on a sec. (Leaves to symbolically kick both collectivies of people in their collective asses.)
I continue to be totally confused by the attitudes of so many Americans about health care. I really don't understand that mind set at all.
I'm sorry about your friend; such a tragic and unnecessary death. I hope at least some of those people there got the message.

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People like that make me sick. "Contribute nothing to society?" Really? I admire your restraint, because I don't know if I'd have been able to keep myself from unleashing a string of expletives in their general direction. How ignorant and selfish.
You know, I work for a large medical organization, and we self-insure, so we have a health plan largely designed by doctors. So my life was saved because when my pcp had an intuition that my tummy ache might not be just diverticulitis she was able to order an expensive diagnostic test without thinking twice about it. This put me in the tiny minority of people with ovarian cancer who are diagnosed at an early stage. My cancer is one of the most lethal cancers, because CT scans are expensive and don't get ordered. I'm not back at work yet, but colleagues have come to see me at home, and in hospital. It's been really interesting to watch people process the realization of what would have happened to me in almost any other circumstance.

Several of my colleagues are physicians I've worked with on committees, and several of those are deeply anxious about the impact of Obamacare on how they do their work. Finally I asked Peter (a prominent oncologist - recently elected president of ASCO), if he really thought Obamacare would limit how he practices more than Blue Shield does? All I can think is that people rush to panic, and it's become trendy to expect the worst from government. The healthcare plan is huge and most people haven't even read the table of contents much less the details, so they accept as fact things which aren't. And they then forget to think outside their own immediate experience.

Related: yesterday my housemate and I were talking about the large population of homeless people in downtown San Jose. It's an area which has been radically gentrified in the last fifteen years. We both agreed, it's hard to enjoy skating outdoors in the artificial rink in the park, followed by a treat at The Fountain Cafe in the Fairmont, when you have to step over people sleeping in doorways. We also felt that getting homeless people out of downtown isn't the answer. If we don't see homelessness, the problem loses immediacy. And juxtaposing the Fairmont and homelessness is also a reminder that there is NO reason for anyone to be homeless when there are so many resources right here.

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Because it's too damned hard to bother to find out the truth, or to care. It's much easier to be told what to think. :P
Use this excellent summary of Obamacare as ammunition in future encounters.

Not that facts will necessarily help with that kind of crowd.

lee_rowan

January 16 2013, 16:52:53 UTC 4 years ago Edited:  January 16 2013, 16:55:24 UTC

Good for you! These people don't realize that the "undeserving" are people just like themselves who had the misfortune to lose their jobs. I've lost two friends to heart disease -- one because fucking Kaiser would not approve him for a heart transplant (he was 40 and in excellent health other than a congenital cardiac defect) and another who had diabetes and no insurance.

I honestly wonder if the media are broadcasting BS on delta-wave frequencies. I know that sounds tin-hat, but I'm a hypnotherapist and there are numerous products that play music with various self-improvement messages interleaved with music; you don't hear the message but they do work. Some of the rubbish that comes out of cable news addicts is beyond insane, and these zombies don't even realize that what they're saying is seriously against their own best interests. There's no logic to explain it.


ps -- are you on Dreamwidth? I'm going to switch there, LJ is getting too weird. http://lee-rowan.dreamwidth.org/
They need to keep in mind that they are only one major illness, one car accident away from being so damaged they can no longer work, which means they would lose their health insurance at the time they need it most, which is what happens in this country. Then how will they feel when they -- requiring medical care, still suffering the effects of cancer or having your leg broken in 16 places and still not able to walk and needing more surgery they can no longer afford -- how *will* they feel hearing an ignorant twunt whinging on about how they are a parasite, a useless drain on the country's coffers, someone who is not contributing a thing to society anymore?
What is wrong with people?? How about lack of empathy for anyone who Isn't Like Them. That's for starters. *hugs*
What's wrong with them is exactly what you said in your previous entry.

These people have never experienced poverty. It's totally alien to them, so they have no empathy for it.

Humans are unsympathetic to what we don't know- and know viscerally and closely, at that.