Friday, August 21, 2009

Letter from a listener

Jan Chen sent this via email after hearing our discussion of health care coverage:

As one listens to the Republican anger over health care reform, one can imagine an anti-government protester cheerfully paying premiums on insurance policies that cancel you for making a claim, or happily sauntering out of an emergency room that denied them treatment because of a coverage problem. One can imagine a town-hall sign-waver enthusiastically forking over most of their pay to bill collectors after suffering a catastrophic injury, thinking, “Wow, the free market system is great.”

No, Republicans are just as affected by health care inequities as anyone else, especially the working class Republicans who show up armed and dangerous at America’s town hall meetings on the topic. The accounts of denial of health care that were a part of last year’s campaign? It wasn’t only Democrats who talked of losing loved ones due to the shenanigans of insurance companies. Republicans, too, cried real tears at the injustices.

So what’s this all about then? The down-with-government shrieking at the town hall meetings, the gun-toting visits to Obama events, the insistence that Obama’s health care reform is inspired by the devil himself? It’s about shock. The shock of no longer being in power. Every President since JFK has been either conservative or a Southerner. Every single one. These folks have had it their way for decades. And they don’t want to share.
You have my permission to publish this letter.

Jan Chen

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