Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More on Firing the Insurance Company

Krugman quotes David Atkins at Digby:
But most of all, we don’t see the health insurance company as providing us a service. We see ourselves, rather, as indentured supplicants forced to pay exorbitant monthly rates for a basic need that responsible people with means can’t get out of paying for if we can help it. We don’t see ourselves as in control of the relationship with them. They are in control of us–and no more so than when we get sick and need the insurance most. If the company decides to restrict our coverage or tell us we have a pre-existing condition after all, we’re in the position of begging a capricious and heartless corporation to cover costs we assumed we were entitled to based on a contractual obligation. It’s precisely when we need insurance most that we’re least able to “fire” the insurance company.

The same goes for the rent/mortgage, for the utilities, for the car, for the cell phone bill, for nearly everything.

Romney talks about paying for health insurance as if it were the same as getting a pedicure, hiring an escort or getting the fancy wax at a car wash. It’s a luxury service being provided to him, and he doesn’t like it, he can take his business elsewhere. Romney’s is the language of a man who has never wanted for anything, never worried about where his next paycheck would come from, never worried about going bankrupt if he got sick.

It is the language of an entitled empowerment utterly alien to the experience of most Americans.
(By the way, head to Digby for a little Tennessee Ernie Ford singing "16 Tons"!)

And then Krugman gets right to the point and adds:
The point isn’t necessarily that Romney has lived in privilege all his life; so did FDR. It’s his apparent inability or unwillingness to imagine what it’s like for those less privileged, his complete failure to try, even in his imagination, walking in someone else’s shoes that stands out.
Just like he couldn't imagine what it was like for the dog he strapped to the roof of his car. 

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