29 September 2009

Yo’ Momma And The Never Ending Healthcare Wank

I realize that this whole thing is pretty much old news now, but it still tickles me so very much.

The humor alone makes me unbelievably happy. I really think that the use of “your mom” jokes as political rhetoric is just a lost art. Given what passes for political debate these days, this was refreshingly witty and to the point.

Now with the general snickering and worshiping of Stabenow for putting it out there being done, I think the clip raises so many more issues that deserve discussion. I think that is why it has been festering in my brain for so long. Seeing what Kyl was saying just highlighted so well all the issues about health care reform that grind my gears.

First the asinine implication that one should not expect their premiums to cover services they will never use is just offensive. I will never need a prostate exam or a testicular cancer screening, but I would like others to have them. Others like say my husband. I presume that Kyl, and others like him, paid out of pocket when they had their children? Or are we only responsible to pay for care when we personally benefit? If that is the logic, then why run health insurance at all. Follow that reasoning and I guess we might as well just pay cash for what we need and only when we need it. Tough luck for anyone who cannot do so. Perhaps a wittier retort would have been “I don’t need ED treatment…” Yup, just let the implication hang there for a bit. Ah, I love a fresh blast of emasculating humor.

Second, where do people who are pro-life get off not wanting to cover maternity care? I think this concept highlights a cold hard fact of the motivation behind some pro-life movements. Clearly this is not matter of believing that all life is sacred (an argument that I can totally get, even if I don’t always agree with its enactment) , but a matter of controlling a woman’s providence over her own body via religious and political doctrine. Is this a game to you people? Women should not have the right to terminate a pregnancy yet they also should not be provided with the care needed to maintain that pregnancy in a healthy manner? To that notion I can only say: you guys are such assholes.

Lastly, who says sexism is dead in this country? Kyl and 8 other people (white, conservative men by my calculations) actually felt comfortable voting against a proposition that would provide basic medical care to women? Is it unfair on so many levels that women do so much of the heavy lifting for pregnancy, labor and delivery? Sure is. Does that make it okay to just write off the potential needs of 51% of the population? Not so much. What is next? I would argue that soon we will have no gender specific issues covered, but I bet that will not be the case. While birth control, PAP tests and mammograms will go the way of the dinosaur if insurance companies think they can save a buck, I bet treatment for erectile dysfunction, prostate problems and male pattern baldness will continue to have coverage. What a crock. Never mind the statement this vote made about the proposed care of children…that is a whole other can of worms.

Okay, my soapbox is starting to emit smoke, so better give it a good cool down period before the next round of headline news comes on. I will just calm myself with the warm fuzzy feeling that hearing Stabenow verbally bitch slap Kyl will never cease to provide.


class-factotum said...

I didn't watch the video (I know, I know), but I used to work for an insurance company that sold group policies to very small (under 20 employees) companies. Premiums were much lower if the company elected not to take maternity coverage, which the companies with older employees often decided to do. (Not to take the maternity coverage, that is.)

I had an individual plan when I was in grad school and then for a while when I was unemployed. Again, the premiums were a lot lower if I declined maternity coverage. I wasn't declining it for other women; I was declining it for myself.

I don't have a problem paying for health insurance, but there are some mandated benefits that bother me. For instance, if I were living in Minnesota, I would question the need to cover hair transplants. I was not happy when I was working that my employer's insurance covered Viagra and not birth control pills. (I am proud to say that after some probably not so good for my career nagging, the company changed its position and covered BCP. I still don't think viagra should have been covered.)

Alexis said...

I see your point. In the current "free market" of insurance, any one person should be able to choose what services they desire, and therefore what they choose to fund. However, as illustrated by the Viagra vs. BCP issue, there does seem to be a bias as to what kind of coverage is considered "essential" and what kind of covergae is just "your problem, not mine/ours." Maybe gender specific packagaes, sub classifed by age cohort, are the way to go...an interesting policy approach. This I must think about...