Some of us can't get decent medical insurance at any price, thru no fault of our own. I have a medical problem that will kill me one day - probably within the next ten years or so, I've already way outlived the estimates the doctors gave me when I was a kid - and have been denied coverage because of it.
I would like to say that I admire the courage and strength it must take to prove all the doctors wrong every day by surviving and prospering. I believe that the same recent health care reform law that introduced the $950 tax for not having medical insurance has also made it so that you cannot be denied coverage because of your preexisting condition, which has always been a ridiculous dodge used by greedy insurance companies. As a result, there is hope that you WILL be able to get "decent medical insurance", though it remains to be seen at what price. I don't believe that the parent was talking about people who are unable to get medical coverage like you, only people like the GP who when offered it (and can afford it) choose not to get coverage, then (for some unknown reason) expect that the rest of us will pick up the tab when misfortune takes them to $PUBLIC_HOSPITAL for a liver transplant ($235K), and forget that while they're getting it, they'll be out of work (and still paying for electricity, heat, mortgage, property tax, food), plus they'll be on $20,000/yr worth of anti-rejection meds, too.
I'm not rich, but neither am I poor, and I work hard. Really damned hard. I'm reasonably intelligent and raised a daughter on my fucking own who has turned out to be one helluva lot better person than her old man ever dreamed of being. I volunteer my time and labor when others need it, and live well within my means because I think that greed is one of the worst problems in society.
And this is why denying you participation in health insurance is so unconscionable. You should have the ability to responsibly prepare for health emergencies, just like anyone else. That the system ever denied participation to you is a symptom of how broken it has become - and why reform was needed. I don't think what we ended up with was ideal, but I'm all for continued reform as we see what works and what doesn't.
If you're so concerned about some of your tax money going to help out people who are less fortunate than you are, then drop out of society and go live somewhere else on your own - cut your own firewood, kill your own meat, grow your own food - let's see how far you get with that. (BTW, I do all of those and more)
While I'm not the GP, I certainly don't mind some of my tax money going to aid those who are less fortunate. I believe that he was replying to someone who was complaining about paying $950 in taxes for not purchasing health care (when that person had such an option) - primarily because choosing to not purchase health insurance is effectively opting into the system of "last resort", where people who have prepared adequately for their own medical calamities end up footing the bill. The $950/yr isn't a "fine", it's merely the premium of the cheapest health insurance that exists - health insurance with a deductible of $(all your assets). Because we know that once you've run through the $500K in the bank with the transplant and all the meds, they're not going to stop treating you, they're just going to pass the cost along to everyone else.
Sure, there are freeloaders out there. But they are a far smaller percentage of the population than the wags on Fox News and the tea party idiots would have everyone believe.
I agree. But being denied health insurance doesn't make you a freeloader, it makes you a victim of a greedy system. Having the option to get health insurance, turning it down, and then expecting that when you run out of assets, the system will continue to provide health care anyway - that would be what the GP was talking about. I believe he was trying to illustrate that "opting out" of insurance and then complaining about the $950 is only fair if you also forever opt out of ANY medical care that the public hospitals would provide. To accept care from the system but complain about the $950 is hypocritical - and would make one "a freeloader".
Attitudes like this are why I quit the Republican party twenty years ago. It's a selfish, self-centered, arrogant POV and I want nothing to do with it. Society only functions as well as it does because of people who unselfishly give as much of themselves as possible. It's a damned shame that such decency seems to be dying out.
You have said more truth in those last two sentence than I have read in a long time. I haven't posted here recently (must be a year) because everything seems to devolve into partisan rancor. To steer this conversation ever-so-slightly back to the topic of the story, Shuttleworth was talking about tribalism: "Tribalism is when one group of people start to think people from another group are 'wrong by default.'" That's exactly what has been happening in politics in the USA. Republicans think anything that Democrats do, value, or say is 'wrong by default', and the Democrats can't claim much better, either. Shuttleworth is just seeing the same thing happen internationally with open source software. Different sphere of interaction, different tribes, same bad results. For all of our sakes, I hope some middle ground can be established, and we can realize that we're really all part of the same tribe.
Keep beating the odds.