Ending Healthcare

Just to document a conversation that I've had a number of times in the last year, its important to understand the implications (and indeed, the motivations) of much of current public health policy.

Now that more than a decade has passed since the ratification of Obamacare, the cultural memory of losing insurance due to pre-existing conditions has faded; opponents of healthcare access of course have lost none of their memory in this regard, and do still fully intent to pursue the policy's repeal.

Now that a large swath of Americans have had covid, and a substantial minority believe in the inevitability of "everyone's going to get it", the stage is set for precluding the majority of people from being able to get insurance. This will be exscerbated by the findings as we learn more about the impacts of long covid.

Tying health insurance to employment was always an immoral choice, but actively pushing for the return of disqualification due to pre-existing conditions while countless millions will fall into disqualified categories is ghastly and sociopathic. Yet this is the position that currently has the most money and judicial power behind it.

The only moral solution is fighting hard for universal coverage, with urgency. I have seen firsthand that even an employer with good intent can wave a blank check in front of insurance companies and still fail to provide the desired level of protection and coverage to workers due to being subject to the whims (and depradations) of the insurers. And the vast majority of companies do not have management with that intent, even if it were possible.

This framing is vital to understand for the coming work in both community organizing and ballot-focused efforts. The stakes will be life or death for millions and the danger is clear enough for everyone to understand. Healthcare access for even those currently insured is under attack every bit as strongly as fundamental rights like voting and bodily autonomy.