There are days when it doesn't pay to check the In Box for my Hotmail account. Or, for that matter, my work e-mail. For some reason, several different friends and relatives of the right-wing Faux News indoctrinated persuasion decided to forward a piece of crap about the "gold plated" free coverage that politicians enjoy. Apparently it reallys chaps their collective ass that President Obama, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and various others who collect federal paychecks actually have employer-provided health insurance.
In fact, those politicians have the same employer-provided coverage that I do: they also fall under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. And you know what? It's not free. It's not gold-plated. And it's not a single "government run" health plan. It's a smorgasbord of private insurance and HMO plans, including Kaiser, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and a bunch of others. Like every other private plan functioning in the U.S. today, the plans in the FEHBP have premiums, co-pays, exclusions, deductibles -- all the same stuff every other private plan entails.
Is it better than what a person can get if a person is working in the private sector? Maybe, maybe not. From a purely personal perspective, the best health insurance we ever had was while the S.O. was working as an aircraft mechanic in the 1980s -- since then it's been steadily downhill in how much insurance costs and what all it will cover.
I do know, however, that it is truly bizarre that I am getting these e-mails from (and there's no polite way to put this) dumbfuck cousins who don't see just how incredibly stupid it is for them to fear a theoretical government-run health plan when the family tree is full of relatives who have struggled with medical bills for many years. My idiot cousin Wayne, for example, got to watch his sister totally stress out over her inability to pay her bills while she was dying of breast cancer. On what planet is it more acceptable for a dying woman to have to beg friends to put on spaghetti feeds and hold bake sales to raise money to pay her bills than it would be for her to have access to a system that would eliminate the bills to begin with? And this was a woman who had a decent job (school teacher) and the health insurance that came with it. So much for the private sector always doing a better job than the government.
One of the other people who sent me the anti-government health plan propaganda is a woman who's also dealing with cancer -- and she's past 70 now so her bills are all being paid by Medicare.
The stupid, it burns.