08 April 2012

The Court, Actual People & the Individual Mandate

If you are offended by the notion that Obama's jerry-rigged health insurance reform package would compel you to buy insurance I recommend you read this Op-Ed by political scientist Andrea Campbell. The story she relates - about a devastating accident her sister-in-law has experienced and its financial consequences - demonstrates directly at how idiotic the SCOTUS justices will be should they overturn the legislation. The notion that the young and healthy can simply decide when they are at risk - and then rush out to buy insurance - is simply ignorant.

My son Jeffrey died five years ago this week. As regular readers will know, he basically dropped dead of a burst aneurysm in his brain. He was 14 and otherwise remarkably healthy. The bill for the few days Jeffrey spent in the ICU? Hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Fortunately when Jeff died, he had insurance coverage through my work. So the irreparable hole he left in my heart was not compounded by financial ruin. Jeff's situation nonetheless resembles the one that has befallen Campbell's sister-in-law. There was no warning that he would drop dead. There was no way to diagnose his malady. Indeed there was no reason to suspect he had an aneurysm or that it would burst. In other words, there would've been no way for he or I to pop out to the insurance store and pick up a policy. The mere fact that the Scalia and like-minded SCOTUS justices can contemplate such an eventuality suggests they have no business occupying a seat on the court.
P.S.: I should make it clear that Jeff was just one parent away from having no insurance. His mom's job at the time offered none. What we actually need is not the sham Obama reforms. cobbled together to satisfy the perverse preferences the rich and powerful, but (like much of the rest of the world) an actual single payer system that would prevent people like Andrea Campbell's sister-in-law from existing at the mercy of coffee can social policy.

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Blogger Lillie Langtry said...

I'm sorry about your son.

I'm 30 and in treatment for breast cancer. I have never smoked, am not overweight and do not drink to excess. I have no family history and have tested negative for the two genes known to cause hereditary breast cancer. My situation is relatively rare - around 1 in 2,500 women - but hardly unheard of. Anyone can be me, whether they want to believe that or not.

Thankfully, I live in a country where health insurance is compulsory. I'm pretty sure I've got my money's worth out of it so far and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

09 April, 2012 01:27  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...


First, I wish you the very best with your medical treatments. Second, I think your situation, like that that befell Jeff and many others in similar circumstances, suggests just how cynical and nasty some of the justices seem to have become.

Thanks for writing.

09 April, 2012 20:49  

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