in health care reform legislation that would eliminate coverage for
abortion services. If this happens, many women could lose coverage for
abortion services that their private insurance currently includes.
Plus, millions of uninsured women will still lack a basic health care
service despite having been promised a better quality of life.
If these senators are allowed to deny coverage of abortion services,
the burden will inevitably fall on low-income women and widen the huge
gap in health status and access to health care services that reforms
are meant to remedy. Compared to their higher-income counterparts,
low-income women are four times as likely to have an unintended
pregnancy and five times as likely to have an unintended birth.
This is, natch, an outgrowth of the usual Republican nonsense of getting restrictions on something however they have to, and I have no doubt that with our 60 votes we can nowtell them to suck it continue kissing their asses as if their opinions matter.
But it’s also an outgrowth of the most pernicious argument against any kind of public health care plan, be it single payer or whatever watered-down half-a-loaf bullshit we’re going to end up stuck with after the Blue Dogs get done: Somebody, somewhere, will get something I didn’t approve of. Somebody who’s overweight, maybe, or smokes, or drinks too much, or took drugs once or a thousand times. Somebody who has been ignoring a nagging illness, somebody who should have eaten more vegetables, somebody who lives near a power plant, somebody who had a family history of something and gave birth anyway and now has the temerity to want ME to pay for her kid’s care with MY TAX DOLLARS and OH MY GOD THE HORROR I NEVER SAID YOU COULD DO THAT.
And the only possible response to any of that is the one nobody in elected office really wants to make, which isfuck you, you smug, self-satisfied, sheltered bitchweasel who thinks the only virtuous choices are the ones you made and that everybody else is scamming you.
I am dreaming nightly of the day when someone at the forefront of this debate points out that most of this wanking — about how women will use free health care to get abortions when they shouldn’t have been such sluts, and fat people will use it to get treated for their heart disease when they should have just laid off the cheeseburgers — is just people being judgmental dicks and YES IT IS THAT SIMPLE. All the people in this country who have made choices you or I might not approve of do not constitute a greater drain on America’s vast resources than a single week of either war we’re fighting, nor a single lifetime of a gazillion-year-old senator who works on Tuesdays and spends the rest of his company time eating oatmeal in the Senate cafeteria on your and my dollar.
The reason this argument gets any traction at all is that for years now we’ve thought of health care as a reward, as a sign of your virtue, as something you get because you’re a contributing member of society who works hard at a good job and tries on average not to drown in Bugles filled with spray cheese every night (mmm, Bugles/spray cheese, food of the gods). Health care is something everybody doesn’t get, so if you get it, you must be doing somethingright. Like eating salads, or exercising, as if people who do those things don’t ever get clobbered by potato chip trucks on their way to work.
If it’s not a reward, though, if it’s something everyone should get, then how on earth will you know you’re special? It seems all we do, in this new reality these days, is take away the things assholes can cling on to make themselves feel superior to everybody else. And if we want this to work, that’s how it’s going to have to be. Somebody you think is a totally irresponsible slut is going to get a free abortion, somebody you think shouldn’t have any more kids is going to get IVF, somebody you think is a hambeast is going to get blood pressure medication, somebody you think is a goddamn worthless drunk will get treated for liver disease. If we want this to work, people are going to have to look at those possibilities, yawn loudly, and say, “So fucking what?”