Public Option? Where's the Option?

Jeeni Criscenzo
We wanted universal SINGLE-PAYER health care. Instead they give us a plan that provides an increased market share for the private insurance companies. This lecherous beast has inserted itself into our health care system and we pass laws that not only legitimize their rape of Americans, but also requires we bend over for them. And we put it in a package called "Reform" and use fancy words like "Public Option". Where's the option - it's a Public Obligation!"

Why aren't the libertarians and 'no new taxes' right-wing-nuts screaming about the implications of requiring people to buy insurance. Call a tax by any other name ' it's still a tax ' on the people who can least afford it. Who is it that doesn't have health insurance' Are they the people with great jobs that pay for everything' No! Are they the wealthy who consider themselves personally responsible because it's no big deal for them to shell out monthly premiums along with the gas bill for their yacht' No! Is it the people on welfare' No! It's the people living on the edge. People working for small businesses, or people trying to start a business or struggling to keep a business afloat. People who can't find work. People who lost their health coverage with their jobs and can't afford the ridiculous COBRA premiums. People who can't squeeze another dollar out of their monthly income. People like me and probably a lot of you.

I can see requiring auto insurance - you have the option of not owning a car - and if you have only enough money for food and rent, you can forego the car. But how do you opt-out of having a body' So if you only have enough money for food and rent and making payments on all of your credit cards, and now you have to buy health insurance (even cheap insurance) you are going to have to eat less or default on your debts. For the people on the edge - the families and individuals who are self-employed, underemployed and not quite making it to the end of the month - the people who are paying sky-high interest and penalties on their credit cards because they miss making minimum payments once in a while when they just can't squeak by, or the car needs tires or the kids need shoes - NOW you've added another financial obligation.

And for those who were considering leaving their dead end jobs to try it on their own as an entrepreneur - well they can kiss that dream goodbye. Oh, maybe that's part of the plan - we don't want any competition from innovative small businesses fueling our economy, do we' My employer, University of California - has just announced forced furloughs and pay cuts. I am already grossly underpaid and underemployed. But I can never leave this job because I have a pre-existing health condition. An employer-based health care system makes us all wage slaves - and we should consider ourselves lucky to be one! I am just so sick of spitting into the wind.


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