Tim Foley at Change.org has picked up on the post I wrote about the Bridgeville shooting victim whose friends and family sponsored a car wash to help her pay her medical bills (with a link to a news story about the car wash). His take on the story is well worth reading.
Meanwhile, on my original post, commenter ABM gripes:
What if that uninsured shooting victim wasn’t a young woman shot by a misogynist, but a grumpy, sexist, racist old man with no friends who didn’t attend church and was generally unliked by all his neighbours? He doesn’t get helped out because of who he is? I doubt the feminists or the Presbyterians or whoever would be setting up a car wash to pay his bills.
An actual social safety net only cares that you are a citizen. That’s pretty important.
While I am normally unmoved by the “oh noes! what about teh menz?” type comments (and I am pretty sure that the car wash was not organized by a bunch of hairy-legged feminazis), I could not agree more with the safety net sentiment. And, as Tim Foley notes in his Change.org post,
[The Bridgeville victim] was in the line of fire for arbitrary reasons. She was also left behind by our health care system for just-as-arbitrary reasons. And she is not the only one. There are many bullets in the world, literally and figuratively. As I type this, there are men and women who are victims of violence, victims of cancer, victims of disease, victims of accidents that could not be predicted, who are in the process of beating the odds but who are struck all over again with the terrifying question, “How on earth do I pay for this?”
How indeed. They certainly shouldn’t have to chance relying on the kindness of strangers like commenter Jay_C:
The woman that the carwash is being held for aged out, and either chose not to buy insurance (she instead chose to pay to join a gym)…That is common. Or she had a preexisting condition. In the first situation, sometimes you roll the dice and the numbers aren’t in your favor. In this specific case, I’d rather give her the money through personal through a car wash, or just through good old fashioned charity (get nothing in return), than through my money being wasted on a Government bureaucracy. At least I know my hard-earned money is going directly to the victim I want it to and not in the “big bucket” for everyone else, and I can’t choose who it goes to.
Jay_C thinks the Bridgeville woman “chose” not to buy health insurance. What kind of choice is it, when you aren’t employed, and available coverage is too expensive even for lots of people who are employed? Good luck for you if you happen to be the victim Jay_C deems worthy of support! Too bad for you if he figures you “should have” had insurance.
We are ALL victimized by a system in which it is just the luck of the draw whether or not you end up with semi-adequate health insurance coverage at the time you need it: if you happen to be rich enough to buy it, if you happen to be lucky enough to be employed in a job that provides it, if you happen to be old enough to have aged into the Medicare system. And if you are one of the ones who happens to be lucky enough to have the health insurance through your job: then, you just hold your breath hoping that you won’t lose your job and thus your coverage.
P.S. To My Readers: I have been looking into whether there might be some way to set up online donations for the shooting victim without health insurance. There are some other people who are interested in this. If we are able to work anything out, I will let you know.