Personal Responsibility: June 24, 2017

Dear Mr. VP,

This is truly bullshit.

“Personal responsibility.”

Personal responsibility not to get sick?

Let’s say you get appendicitis. Is that anyone’s fault? No. It’s luck of the draw.

An appendectomy, which you need to treat a condition you couldn’t prevent and will kill you if left untreated, costs an average of $33,000. It can cost up to $180,000.

If you don’t have insurance because you can’t afford the skyrocketing premiums because of Republican “reforms”, and you’re an average American, you’re screwed. In 2014, the average family income was about $52,000. That means one surgery, that you had to have and couldn’t prevent, and has nothing to do with personal responsibility, is 65% of your income if it costs the average amount. Or three times your income if you’re in one of those lucky states with $180,000 appendectomies. That’s a pretty hefty and impossible chunk of change for almost any average family. 

And what about personal responsibility in relation to kids? Should they be responsible enough to avoid birth defects? Falling off swings and breaking arms? Childhood cancer? Autism? Come on, kids! Get your shit together and be responsible!

Let’s be clear about the bottom line, though. There is certainly a chance that someone could be in a bind and unable to afford health care or health insurance because they made a financial mistake at some point in their lives. Maybe they weren’t as responsible as they could or should have been. When you insert the language of “personal responsibility” into a debate about health care cost and insurance, what you are saying is that if someone can’t afford health care because of a personal mistake, financial or otherwise, they deserve to die.

Maybe it’s just me, but that doesn’t seem particularly pro-life.


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