Emily Mills has an op-ed in the latest issue of Isthmus in which she implores readers to "Keep up the fight on health care". In it she says:I happen to be among the more than 40 million Americans who lack health insurance. If I get sick or injured, I would almost certainly go into serious debt and probably have to declare bankruptcy. I can't afford the medication I need for a chronic stomach condition, so I go without. It's ridiculous."
Personally I find this statement to be disingenuous, to say the least. It's a ploy for sympathy that I will give no quarter because, as she has stated at her blog
, she "cast off (her) full-time desk job on purpose
" – emphasis hers. It's one thing to argue that health care should be a right for people in this country but it's something else to ignore reality and the reality is we don't have universal coverage. However things should
be doesn't change the fact that Ms. Mills voluntarily rid herself of health insurance.
In speaking about the health care reform debate, she finds herself flummoxed and writes:It baffles me that some of my fellow citizens have been so thoroughly duped by fear-mongering and false information that they now rage against their own self-interest."
Do you think that it might have been in Ms. Mills' self-interest to keep her insurance instead of putting herself in the position of not having medication and being one illness or accident away from bankruptcy? She made her choice and she chose to go without insurance to instead pursue her writing, musical, etc. endeavors full-time. But now that the die is cast, she has the nerve to turn around and use herself as an example of the problems facing our uninsured.
While I am in favor of health care reform (but have some gripes about the pending legislation), I would implore Ms. Mills to refrain from using herself as a poster child as she continues the fight because this is the message doing so gives off to many whose support we could use: Somebody wants to be an artist and thinks the world owes her.
I can barely muster any sympathy for her and instead am worried for people like my friend who hasn't been able to find construction work in ages and a co-worker who is certainly among the working poor as he lives in a trailer with no hot water and does a lot of his shopping out in the woods and at local streams & rivers.
I wish Ms. Mills all the luck in the world in her career and hope she is and remains as close to healthy as a horse as possible. But I also hope that she'll stop holding her own position up as an argument for health care reform. Life is about making choice amongst things that are, not as how we would have them be. And, if she must try to gain sympathy with her situation in future editorials, then I hope she'll at least tell people that she is going without insurance by her own choice as opposed to intimating that she's the victim of forces beyond her control.