Letter to an anonymous critic

I got this new bumper sticker at the Mad as Hell Doctors event on Sept 12. It reads, “My car has better health insurance than I do.”

After a long, frustrating day I returned to my car in free parking to find the following note under my windshield wiper:

“Your car may have better insurance coverage than your health, but that’s because you pay for your car insurance out of your pocket, not MINE! Keep the feds out of our pockets and our healthcare. They botched Medicare and Medicaid — They [sic] destroy healthcare, too.”

It’s possible I am without some much-needed medication at any given time because there is usually little or no cash left after I’ve paid the rent, my city bill, gas bill, phone bill and car insurance (which I’m required by law to purchase). My doctor tells me I’m playing medical roulette when I go on and off my medications, but I don’t have other options – I don’t have insurance.

According to Harvard Medical School researchers, “Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year — one every 12 minutes — in large part because they lack health insurance and cannot get good care.” What does this have to do with me? Well, I’m uninsured and that makes me nearly twice as likely to die unnecessarily from complications associated with preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. I’m not a mere statistic; I’m a real human being just like you, capable of emotional and physical suffering, who works hard, has plans for my future and friends, family and children who depend on me.

In addition to emotional concern about my health, my future and my children‘s future, I’m upset that my well being and the value of my life are meaningless to this stranger and any number of people I do know who claim to care about me.

Like the majority of students at UVU, you’re probably paying for your education with a FEDERAL financial aid award (i.e., subsidized and/or unsubsidized Stafford loans and Pell grants). Furthermore, according to the 2008 Legislative General Session Report For Higher Education in Utah, your senator appropriated $849,528,300 to college and university budgets last year to compensate for the fact that your tuition and student fees do not cover the full cost of your education (Incidentally, BYU compensates for this discrepancy with LDS church member tithes, which is a remnant of the United Order and an extreme, though obsolete, expression of socialism from early Mormon history.). Among these state-funded colleges and universities, your university, UVU, received $68,441,000 of taxpayer moneys.

My point is this: you are parking in the free parking lot at a TAXPAYER-FUNDED STATE COLLEGE. It doesn’t take a genius to draw some really embarrassing conclusions about your critical thinking skills based on your carelessly thought-out argument against healthcare reform. Nor is it difficult to identify your personal attack on me, a single mother trying to live long enough to see her children grow up, as a selfish one. Congratulations on your achievement.

12 Responses to "Letter to an anonymous critic"

  1. Alex   September 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Wow! I love this! Well said!

    Reply
  2. Nathan   October 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I have a few problems with the logic here.

    1. You are only mandated by the government to carry liability insurance which covers others’ property that you might damage with your car. The government does not mandate collision insurance (which would be the equivalent of health insurance for your car).

    Your bank might require you to maintain collision coverage on the automobile if you have a loan, but if you cared about yourself as much as you do your car, then you would have bought a clunker with cash and saved your money for health insurance.

    2. The government does invest in schools, but part of that is an investment that will pay for itself in increased GDP down the road. I view it in the same light as government spending on highways and other infrastructure. Sure there’s waste, but that doesn’t justify more waste and a takeover of 1/6th of the economy.

    3. You note that the critic was “Anonymous”, but neglect to mention that your rant is largely anonymous too. Most people who read your bumper sticker will never talk to you face to face. The fact that someone left a note is of little more relevance than the fact that you put a sticker on your bumper.

    Conclusion:

    You choice to skip health-insurance is a choice. I did not make that choice. I chose instead to work full-time while attending school full-time. I have health-insurance even though I am young and healthy. I last visited the doctor in 2007 for a case of gastroenteritis which I could have gone to the ER for and payed less than for my annual premiums and $250 deductible. I am making the responsible choice, and I want the freedom to continue to choose the health plans that are appropriate for me and my family.

    Reply
  3. Michelle   October 3, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Well Nathan, congrats on ur conclusion. DUH! If we were allowed a public option, then there would be freedom to choose- IT IS AN OPTION. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE IT! What is wrong with this country? When did we become so selfish?

    Reply
  4. Nathan   October 6, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    It sounds like you make no contention with my original point that the bumper-sticker is a non-sequitur. So let’s move on to your new points:

    1. There are many government investments which COULD contribute to future productivity. The government could force us all into communal shelters or take over the food supply chain as well. Just imagine the wealth that this country could generate if no one had to worry about mortgage payments or food. I would not support those decisions either; I have a preference toward private property and individual responsibility. I would also be happy to trade some of my tax liability for toll-roads, etc., but I’m not holding my breath for everyone to…

    Reply
  5. Nathan   October 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I see that my response was truncated so you missed the other big words… Reductio ad hominem.

    Sounds like that still describes your modus operandi.

    Reply
  6. Jane   October 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Cammie,

    I have reviewed this article, and I have come to the conclusion of one thing:

    You may want to consider purchasing a thicker skin-perhaps from Wal-Mart?

    If you are going to write opinion articles on a public site, there are going to be disagreements, and other opinions. This isn’t an attack on you. And these opinions are not meant to be taken personally.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Reply
  7. Michelle   October 10, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Hey Cammie, Baby if you decided to purchase that “thicker-skin”, it’s in hardware and I can get you a great employee discount. LMAO! And Natahan the big words just make you sound like a Bigger Douche-bag. LOL.

    Reply
  8. Michelle   October 10, 2009 at 4:01 am

    ad hominem!!!!

    Reply
  9. Nathan   November 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    @Michelle

    So’s your face.

    Reply
  10. Amy   November 10, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Nathan- there are many people who are “uninsurable” for various reasons. There are many who are not offered insurance through their employer even though they work full time. As for this individual’s “choice” to remain uninsured, I don’t believe that we have enough information to jump to any conclusions about why he is uninsured. Further, it surprises me that you don’t believe that a population with inadequate healthcare is at least as relevant to the GDP as higher education. Check out the CDC website- which has published statistics on health-related impact on the economy through several administrations. Finally, the bumper sticker is on HIS property making him ultimately identifiable unlike the individual who left the note. As an aside and out of curiosity, do you think Medicare should be abolished?

    Reply
  11. Nathan   November 11, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    @Amy,

    I would like the freedom to opt out of Medicare, Social Security, and any other insurance program that is a mandated payment from me. Insurance is a tool for converting unknown variable costs into known fixed costs. I can make educated decisions to manage risk in my life; unfortunately our government doesn’t think we are capable of making those decisions.

    Further, Medicare and Social Security amount to ponzi schemes (defined in wikipedia as a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors).

    Reply
  12. Nathan   November 11, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Also, Amy, you missed the comments from Cammie in her own defense which has since been removed. I guess the editorial committee felt that she was embarrassing herself and them, the more she wrote.

    Reply

Leave a Reply