The Uninsured: Huge Numbers, Zero Political Clout
There are about fifty million Americans who don’t have health insurance. So many people, so little power.
This humongous group could learn something from the National Rifle Association. Three million people snap their fingers, and every legislator in the country collapses into a hysterical blubbering quivering mass.
The uninsured probably outnumber those people who think the Earth is 6,000 years old and the Bible contains only one sentence: “And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
And as you’ve probably noticed, that group makes itself heard. (How’s that for an understatement?) Talk about the squeaky wheel.
It’s true that lack of time (they’re probably too busy trying to make ends meet) and money are disadvantages. A Harvard professor of political analysis said: “If I'm in Congress, and I help out farmers, they'll help me out politically. But if I help out the uninsured, they are not likely to help members of Congress get re-elected.”
But I don’t agree completely with that analysis. He’s right that the uninsured — unlike agribusiness, televangelists and the NRA — can’t afford to bribe Congress. If they could, they’d probably be insured.
But one thing they CAN do — right now — is register to vote. And then F$#%!in’ VOTE. You won’t believe this, but in the last election, only ten percent of registered voters said they were uninsured. WTF??? Since the United States doesn’t have 500 million registered voters, there are obviously tens of millions of uninsured Americans who couldn’t be bothered to vote. Or to even register.
I’m all in favor of socialized medicine, even though of course it’ll take away all incentive to work and it’ll ruin the moral fiber of this great nation.
But if any kind of health coverage reform is to have the remotest prayer of ever passing, the people who need this coverage will have to vote. Imagine a group of fifty million voters whom Congress was afraid to piss off. We’d have universal coverage, just like the rest of the industrialized world.
cross-posted at Bring It On!