Have you ever bitten off a man's finger? It's OK. You can tell me. Really, never? Well then you have obviously never been to a healthcare rally.
Recently, in Thousand Oaks, Ca., a man did just that after finding that he disagreed with the owner of said finger. The victim, a 65-year-old man, drove himself to the hospital where the tip of his finger was re-attached.
Apparently the incident occurred during a scuffle at a healthcare rally during which the 65-year-old anti-reform gentleman punched the Code Pink pro-reform member, who proceeded to bite his finger off. The real bitingly ironic part? The 65-year-old anti-government healthcare gentleman was on government healthcare. He had Medicare, which paid for his finger to be reattached. Can you imagine the fortune it would cost without insurance?
The not-so-funny part is that more than 46.6 million people (15.9 percent of Americans) can imagine it, because it is a reality for them. Everyday they are one sickness or accident away from bankruptcy because they do not have healthcare. And the majority of these people are Hispanic or Black. A fair and reliable system? I would err on the side of no.
As such, it really gets my blood boiling when people stand up at healthcare rallies and demand that no reform be taken. We spend the most money on healthcare of developed nations and yet, have the most uninsured of said nations. Obviously something is not working.
It's mindboggling to me that there are people out there who are willing to verbally assault others because of how much they love their insurance. As insurance companies try to increase profit margins in this difficult economy, insurance has been increasing in price but decreasing in coverage.
In fact, prices are so high that a recent study in the 2007 American Journal of Medicine found that 62 percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses and, of those bankruptcies, 80 percent had healthcare. So, what exactly is so great about your health insurance that you are willing to bring an AK-47 to a healthcare rally just to protect it?
But hey, I'll work with you. Let's say that your healthcare is just over the moon. They cover your foot massages and bubble baths, and your insurance representative saved you from a house fire. Fine, sounds pretty good. But guess what? Under the government's reform plan, you can keep your insurance. It is a choice whether or not to take government healthcare. If you want to keep the healthcare you have now, go right ahead, no one's stopping you. But by protesting this plan, you are preventing millions from getting any health insurance whatsoever.
People have a First Amendment right to freedom of speech and I both understand and respect that. Let's not abuse that right, though. If you really have legitimate concerns, go ahead and express them. But when a representative comes to try to talk to you about specifics of the plan, screaming at them is actually just hindering what could be productive conversation, helping to address legitimate concerns.
On the other hand, we could just keep going about it the way we have been. We can have people screaming at others, depicting the president as Hitler, bringing guns to peaceful meetings and biting peoples' digits off. Sounds like a good plan … for those of us with healthcare.