I came across this reader letter on TPM, where occasionally Josh Marshall shares readers' contributions in full because they are so worthwhile. (The last time I recall was in reference to Mitt Romney's taxes during the campaign). The writer castigates the group of 3% 'losers' for whining about losing their substandard insurance, and my own disdain projects to the media slavishly pounding this drum.
The perfect example of such a 'douche' is this woman, a self-described Obamacare 'victim', who posted her horror story on Facebook and was horrified when her 'friends' all explained to her why her insurance was horrible and she should be grateful. And then the NYT let her post an Op-Ed on their pages complaining about lack of sympathy on Facebook! Really!
The media is hyper-focused on the 3% of the population who are 'losing' their so-called health insurance, i.e. sub-standard insurance and raising this issue to a DefCon5 level of disastrous proportions and importance. They are doing it not because of some sudden newfound concern for people without insurance but rather the political harm it can inflict, and the delight in catching President Obama in a 'lie'. All that tells me is how trustworthy and honest the President has been if they are pouncing on this like cats on catnip. And we were treated yesterday to the spectacle of serial liar Mitt Romney going on about the President's 'dishonesty'.
Since it’s been estimated that about 3% of the US population will end up “losers” under Obamacare, I thought I’d write in and give you my perspective as a 3-percenter. However, I suspect that I belong to a smaller subset of the 3%, that being people who find it appallingly self-indulgent and shamefully self-pitying to think of ourselves as losers.That's who the media has brought out the violins for.
Having insurance, even crappy insurance, in the individual market means we are almost by definition, healthy and relatively young. If we were not, we wouldn’t be able to get coverage of any kind in the non-group market. If our ACA-compliant replacement policy costs us more, it’s likely because we’re too affluent to qualify for subsidies.
It takes a remarkable degree of self-absorption and sense of self-entitlement to be healthy, young(ish) and affluent—and yet consider oneself a “loser.” It’s a label I reject out of shame (no matter how much the lazy, superficial MSM want to fixate on me and my “plight”) NOT because there’s anything shameful about being a loser; the shame is in thinking oneself a loser when one is actually fortunate.The writer goes on to point out who the real losers are: the 400,000 working poor in his state of Louisiana who will not get Medicaid because Gov. Bobby Jindal decided that would be better for his political advancement. And how fortunate he is, even if he has to endure some website glitches (and OMG maybe fill out a paper application) he knows he will not be one medical illness away from financial ruin.
This letter points to the venality and shallowness of the media's concern, focusing on these "losers". When did they ever show such concern for people with real problems of not being able to afford coverage, or being bankrupted by their medical bills - all of which the law is trying to correct?
I was fortunate before Obamacare, and now I am an Obamacare winner. Now if the media would just help more of the public understand how lucky us 3-percenters actually are, perhaps the public would start to recoil at the absurdity of the outrage being whipped up on our behalf, and we could start focusing on how to help the real losers: the working poor in refusenik states.