I’ll gladly pay my fair share for Obamacare
By Glen Gummess September 14, 2012 9:58PM
Updated: October 17, 2012 6:08AM
I have decided that I will pay for the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” Please, give me the bill.
It was an easy decision to make after reading the letter by Lockport’s Joanne Roman (Sept. 4) who questioned how, with unemployment at 8 percent, we were going to pay for “this new government freebie” for 30 million Americans who were without health insurance.
It was a good letter, too, and it raised questions that strike at the very core of what this election is all about in my opinion. Why should we be our brother’s keeper? Why should we pick up our brother’s medical expenses?
Because we do already, don’t we? If we belong to a health insurance plan, our premiums already go to underwriting the ridiculously high expenses of someone else’s medical care.
I recently took a family member to the hospital for excruciating back pain, and for two days of treatment got a whopping $17,000 bill. That’s the same amount of money paid for a two-week stay back in 1993 for a more serious medical condition. Two weeks is seven times greater than two days, so by doing the math I see a medical inflation rate from 1993 to now of what, 700 percent?
Geez, we can all blame Obamacare for that. Or at least that’s what the truth-spinning Republican vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, wants us to do.
But the question remains about being our brother’s keeper. Philosophically speaking, we shouldn’t, according to some in the rightmost feathers of the right wing. The true American is the one who is ambitiously self-interested, disdaining self-sacrifice, believing that giving to the poor is an impossible moral code.
If you detect the stench of Ayn Rand’s ideas in this paragraph, you’re right. Her philosophy of “objectivism” has purportedly gone a long way in building the value systems held by Mr. Ryan.
And, at “the end of the day” so to speak, who knows? Maybe Rand was right. Maybe we are all teetering toward a dystopia foretold in “Atlas Shrugged,” where government controls everyone and everything.
And maybe Nostradamus was right in his predictions, too.
But maybe, just maybe, it’s impractical to allow 30 million Americans, and a whole lot more in the margins of insufficient health insurance, to give us the bill every time they go to the emergency room. Now that’s expensive.
So, please, give me the bill to treat someone’s illnesses before they warrant a trip to the emergency room. I’ll gladly pay it, or at least my fair share.
Email Glen Gummess at