The Affordable Act of Caring

I run a small business (a used bookstore). I am married to a British citizen who grew up under the National Health Service. And I am the executive director of an organization that works with public health–a day job that provides benefits for my 70-year-old not-American husband because he can’t get them through our bookstore, full stop.

So by all means, feel free to tell Jack and me about the horrid British “communist” (single-payer) system. Explain to us that entrepreneurs across the country will give up and close their businesses because of the insurance premiums required for employees. Lament that insurance companies will be forced to cover those previously denied coverage, which in turn will send them scurrying for ways to make the premiums of everyone else go up.

And when we’re done fighting each other, could we tackle those insurance companies? Because as I’m sitting here, watching Facebook fill up with words like “death squads,” “monopolies,” and “forced purchases,” these are terms that apply to them: they decide who gets what treatment, who can go where, and what we have to buy.

Business has no business governing health care. Would you like a book recommendation from a bookseller? Read Michael Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. Do you know someone who died a preventable death, because s/he didn’t have (enough) insurance? I need more than one hand to tick off names against fingers. And that is wrong. Wrong, wrong wrong. Wrong for Democrats, wrong for Republicans, wrong for old, young, black, white, brown, American, British, or anyone else. WRONG.

Last year, a firefighting force let a house burn–with two dogs howling inside–because the family hadn’t paid their taxes, but wet down the paid-up house next door. Is this the America we want to live in? What if Grandma had been home?

There are things money shouldn’t have to buy. I’ll support the imperfect Affordable Care Act until something better can be implemented–like the removal of corporate profiteering from the medical marketplace.


Filed under Big Stone Gap, book reviews, folklore and ethnography, small town USA, Uncategorized

4 responses to “The Affordable Act of Caring

  1. Jennifer Mullins

    I agree. Everyone deserves the right to live a life free of concern about whether or not they can afford to live.

  2. Thank you for your words! Healthcare should not be optional. It should be a given.

  3. Eva

    Well said. I think many agree with you on this position.

  4. Forced lack of care due to birth conditions nearly killed me. And prior to that I grew up with set maximum allowances. Sheer madness.

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