I was 16 when i broke my neck and witnessed first hand what it’s like to not have health insurance. I often wonder if i would’ve gotten different treatments if i could’ve afforded it, if i wouldn’t lose vision/hearing like i do now. No small company can afford to hire me and one of the reasons that i find the idea of working for or creating a start-up laughable is that i could not risk the loss of health insurance. Not only could i not afford premiums on my own, i am not sure that i’d even be covered outside of a major institution. I live in fear because of American health insurance. And i’m a lucky one.
In his classically brilliant style, Malcolm Gladwell’s latest New Yorker essay The Moral-Hazard Myth traces the routes of the American health insurance scheme, unveiling its implications through the stories of people who are less fortunate than i have been. At the core of my progressive politics is the solid belief in universal health access. In this country, medical access is a privilege where it should be a right. It is hard to respect this country when it fails to take care of its people at a basic level. And i’m sorry, but there’s nothing Christian about tiered health access.