...another day, another telemarketer call.
This one was interesting. I almost didn't take it, because I'm busy today, but I'm a crank, so I did. It started out fairly unusually "...please sign your name to the petition to the Supreme Court to repeal Obamacare today," and that was just so absurd that I couldn't help myself.
I pressed "1"
I was just silent through the part about leaving my name on the petition. Thought about saying my last name was "Stupid" and my first name was "You're", but in the end I was just silent.
Then came the money pitch. Stay on the line to donate money to Mitt Romney.
I pressed "1"
The lady on the phone sounded older. At first I thought she was paid, but by the end of the conversation it sounded like she might actually be a volunteer, because she seemed to feel more comfortable actually having a dialogue than most of the poor scabs who call and can't really say anything because (I always assume) if they do, they'll be fired.
She asked if I wanted to donate $100 or $200 to overturn Obamacare; I started out fairly jocularly, saying I'd just pressed the "1" on the phone because "I figure you're mostly talking to people today who are too stupid to know how the Supreme Court works; they're not really supposed to take popular petitions into account when they render their decisions, you know"
She laughed, actually laughed, and I figured I had another poor sap on the line who had to make these calls for $10 or $12 an hour plus lousy benefits, and I said as much, said I supported Obama and Obamacare, and I guessed she did, too. Surprisingly, she said no, she was for Romney, because her co-pays had more than tripled after Obamacare went into effect.
That has nothing to do with the health care legislation, I said, that's just the free market health care system trying to make a buck as health care costs go through the roof. I told her about my own situation, my insurance cancelled because of my age combined with a skin cancer (the good kind, that gets cut off and you don't have to worry about it) that threw me into insurance limbo. "Oh, that's not good" she said. I told her that as long as you were employed, you probably didn't have to worry about your insurance getting cancelled, but that if you weren't, you'd have to marry somebody who was employed, as I did, to get insured again. And your kids wouldn't be insured either. "Oh, that's not good" she said again.
"This isn't socialized medicine" I said, and told her about the Heritage Foundation, and how similar this was to the plan Romney set up in Massachusetts. "This is GOP free-market healthcare reform, based on conservative ideas about how to reform a very broken system"
"Why isn't there a TV program or something about this?" she asked
"Well, I hate to say it" I said, "but there's a lot of lying out there because the GOP political machine is trying to get people worked up".
Then I asked her what was better, if somebody with diabetes kept his diabetes under control by going to the doctor now and again for tests and for medication, or if that person waited until going into a diabetic coma, went to the ER, and got his legs cut off? I said, "you know, if the person went into a diabetic coma and died, it would be horrible, but it would be cheaper, but the way it is now, it's horrible and incredibly expensive...and that's the Romney/Republican plan...wait until your sickness is really bad, and then have the taxpayer foot the bill. All Obamacare does is make sure that people pay for insurance when they're young, and well, so that they're spreading their insurance costs out over their entire lifetime, paying for it when they can afford it."
"I've learned more talking to people today" She said.
And I swear, she said "I have another call coming in, thank you for talking to me"