Thursday, November 21, 2013

Health Scared

I have a friend who recently posted on Facebook that his health insurance costs were looking to go up somewhere in the neighborhood of 300% during the next year, and that his options on the insurance exchanges aren't much better. He seemed pretty peeved, and not knowing the specific details of his situation, I'm certainly not going to impugn the righteousness of his situation or his frustration. However, one thing he said later in that thread, when someone countered with how the health care law was benefitting them, did catch my attention: "What your budget and financial burdens are none of my business. Just like reducing anyone's cost for a medical plan is not my responsibility by me having to pay more."

And right there we see the fundamental ideological divide that characterizes this debate. Between the folks who support health insurance reform and those who don't. It's illuminating, a little sad, and also far too common. By all accounts, the website is working better, enrollments are increasing, and I'd expect that come election time the Affordable Care Act won't be quite the albatross Reince Priebus, et al. are hoping for. But even so, comments like the above illustrate just what a steep breach we still need to cross. Not a political breach, but a breach of conscience. Look, no one likes to pay more, especially for a service they may not even need. It sucks. I get it. But until we arrive at a place where we can at least be amenable to the idea that we share a stake in each other's continued existence, I don't know that we'll ever be where we need to be.

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