Letter to an anonymous critic

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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.