Let me start by saying that this is not a political blog. We do our best to steer clear of politics and stay apolitical. However, some politicians just say things that make one sick. Like the one who recently all but blamed the sick for being sick during the healthcare debate.
“It (the healthcare bill) will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy,” Said Representative Mo Brooks from Alabama. He added, “And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.” (Emphasis ours)
Granted, our lifestyles and choices do have bearing to our health. But to blanket-blame the sick and suffering for their condition is just… well, sick.
For one, you can exercise, eat right, and do all the right things and still get sick. There are various reasons we get afflicted, some of which we have no control over (heredity, for example).
Take two former elite athletes for instance; basketball player Irvin “Magic” Johnson and the late tennis player Arthur Ashe.
Both athletes contracted the HIV virus. But while Magic admitted having caught the virus through escapades, Ashe caught it through a blood transfusion he received during heart bypass surgery. One caught the virus through unprotected sex and, not to mention adultery. The other caught it while actually receiving treatment at a health facility.
Another example? Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper had a heart attack while working out in the gym. Harper could be said to be the epitome of fitness. But in pursuit, maintenance or improvement of his fitness and health, he had the heart attack. His family has a history of the condition.
We are all different. That is why some of us grow to a ripe old age despite being chain smokers while others who have never smoked get lung cancer. (Avoiding smoking is still a good thing.)
Brooks’ assertion that people who are healthy are that way because they did the things and those who are sick are that way because they did not is therefore BS.
Secondly, when we all pay into a pool for healthcare, it is not that we (presumably) healthy individuals are paying for those who are not. Moreover, it is no guarantee that because you’re healthy today you’ll be so tomorrow. And therein lies the reason for healthcare. To help us when we need it.
We should also not expect to start paying more for coverage once we get sick. What if we can’t even work for a prolonged period of time? Or we are unable to work like we once used to and therefore earn less?
Finally, the representative’s views hail from a point of “it doesn’t affect me so I don’t care” attitude that is becoming frighteningly common among some politicians and their supporters. I don’t see what’s so wrong about helping out a fellow man or woman in need.