Yea… about that whole shut the government down because we don’t want poor people to have healthcare bullshit..
Was that too strong?
The way it seems to me is that Republicans, and in particular the Tea Party, are pouting. They lost the Presidential race in 2012, Obama put a plan in place that does a little of what ALL other first-world countries do — i.e. make sure you don’t go bankrupt if you have a medical emergency — and for some reasons beyond my understanding, they don’t like it.
SO — they’re using the power they have to pout. In so doing, they put many government workers out of a job (if only temporarily), they disrupt programs that do good things for people — medical research, ESL training, and lots of other stuff..
Granted, according to the social contract we’ve established, they have the right to do it — BUT, if they really accepted the social contract as a whole, they’d realize that a large percentage of the US population thinks Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) is a GOOD thing. On October 1 many people tried to sign up. If you don’t have health insurance, or if your employer provided insurance is ridiculously expensive and not particularly helpful, you’re eager to avoid health problems and bankruptcy. Duh.
There does seem to be some kind of underlying lack of compassion — or at least a significant lack of understanding about HOW people end up poor and without insurance. The fact of the matter is that SOME people make individual life choices that put them on the low-end of the socioeconomic totem pole, but MOST poor folks aren’t in the group of people we’d otherwise expect to be middle-class if they’d made better choices. MOST poor folks are from poor families, which means poor schools, often inadequate education for their parents and grandparents, and quite likely inadequate nutrition and healthcare as kids — all of those things are background to the seemingly ONE or TWO poor choices folks make to get them into poverty.
Once a person IS poor, everything is more expensive and complicated. If you don’t have a car, you’re often stuck walking to the local bodega –where the prices for groceries are significantly higher than the grocery store 5 miles away. Having a cell-phone is more expensive because your credit is bad — if you have a car, the same goes for your insurance. If you have kids, the cost of child-care can be as much as your weekly paycheck from one of your jobs — so it makes you wonder why you have a job at all. Heaven forbid you have to do something like fix the car or take a kid to the doctor, that could put you behind on your rent, electric bill etc..
But — of course, the richest nation in the world can’t afford to take care of the medical bills for its poor folks… duh..