Not Having Health Care 'Incentivizes' People To Be Healthy, Says Fox News Doctor
As universal healthcare becomes increasingly popular in the United States, many of the old arguments against it are starting to lose steam — particularly among those who are aware of the existence of other countries. "But you having health care would be socialism" just isn't that convincing to people who did not live through the Red Scare and would really just like to go to the doctor, please and thank you. Now they've gotta come up with other things, like probably "Well if everyone has health care then our health care will be less special" and "if you give everyone health care, then people will just walk into leper colonies for funsies and not even care because they can just go and get it treated."
You would think these would both be things I made up as obvious exaggerations, because who would actually believe that, but you would be wrong. At least about one of them. In fact, just this week, Fox News "medical expert" Dr. Nicole Saphier explained that Obamacare had actually made people less healthy, because now they are taking more risks with their health on account of the fact that they can just go see a doctor if they get sick.
Transcript via Media Matters:
Americans are dying younger, from largely preventable disease and bad health policy decisions. And the problem that I have with this is heart disease alone costs about $230 billion to the United States, and the Affordable Care Act did nothing to help that except take away -- they took away the incentivizations for good behavior choices, by saying that however you act, whatever you do, everything's going to be covered. And so preventable illness is running rampant across the United States.
I'll tell ya. People who love "incentives" are the same people who insist that the best way to deal with a bully (or someone you don't like) is to just ignore them. They will give anything just for the best solution to anything to be "just literally doing nothing." And I get it! I do! Imagine how great it would be if the best way to get the best results on anything was doing exactly what you feel like doing and also not having to spend any money? That would be great!
But it's not the way things work. If "incentives" worked, we would not have the largest prison population in the world. Shockingly enough, the cruelty of our criminal justice system does not actually stop people from committing crimes. In fact, it probably creates more crime than it prevents.
The thing is, health care is pretty much the main thing that keeps people from dying of not only preventable diseases, but of the unpreventable ones as well. You can be the biggest health fanatic on earth and you can still get cancer, you can still get MS, you can still get any of the many, many diseases that have absolutely nothing to do with being healthy. People don't get sick because they lack "personal responsibility" and to say so is both cruel and insane.
Not only that, but you can be so good and so responsible and pay your insurance premium every month for your whole life and find that, when you get sick, that whatever it is you have is not covered. And you can then lose your house. Everything is stupid and there pretty much are no rules you can follow to avoid getting totally fucked in this system. "Personal responsibility" is not saving you or protecting you anymore than wearing a corno around your neck is going to prevent me from putting the maloik on you and causing your junk to shrivel up and die.
The thing I'd really like to know though is, if Dr. Saphier thinks that being able to go to the doctor makes people less healthy, then why did she bother going to medical school to become one? Is she some kind of monster? Seeing people and giving them medical advice and treatment when she knows that all that will do is make them less personally responsible?
Doesn't seem right.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse