Yes. Decent healthcare is “bad” because THOSE people might benefit.

On the subject of certain Americans’ virulent contempt for even a slightly more egalitarian healthcare system:

“They don’t want racial minorities and people without means sharing spaces with them, and especially not when they’re sick and being reminded that they’re the same flesh and blood as everyone else. The idea that a 14-year-old immigrant might get service first because she needs it more, and that there’s no way to pull rank? That’s the sort of thing that keeps the nutters up at night.”

You nailed it, Amanda.

I once got into a healthcare debate with the mother of one of my friends in North Carolina. It got a little heated, and she said something like, “well, I don’t want those IMMIGRANTS coming over and getting their paws on our system, and that’s what will happen if we let just anyone get healthcare!”


“You know I was an immigrant, right, Mrs. [last name redacted to protect the guilty]?”

“Um, yes, sure, Natalia, I know that. But… you’re not anything like those irresponsible people, you know?”

Of course. I’m white. And went to a posh school.

Mrs. [last name redacted to protect the guilty] shouldn’t worry so much. As it stands right now, I sure as Hades can’t afford healthcare in the States anyway. And people like her would fight to keep it that way. And call me a traitor (as a charming e-mailer did recently) because when I see a 29-year-old woman with lupus, retroactively dropped from her insurance policy and facing a $700,000 debt, I want to do something about it.

4 thoughts on “Yes. Decent healthcare is “bad” because THOSE people might benefit.

  1. I am ashamed to admit that I am an
    American at this point in time. The racism, classism and ethnocentrism have been brought out to full effect via the healthcare reform debate. Ironically, the people with these feelings – White people- haven’t had healthcare benefits in YEARS. So, who needs healthcare? The ones who want to deny others of the same.

  2. Thank you for the link, Natalia. It truly is an excellent article. I enjoyed yours a good deal, as well. This line especially:

    “Of course. I’m white. And went to a posh school.”

    That really is just it. The impression I’ve received is that much as in Britain the words “immigrant” or “asylum seeker” brings to mind some shady, bearded oriental (or possibly Somalian) type sneaking through an airport to the mind of any reactionary, in America it brings to mind some devious hispanic plunging desperately across a fence. It’s an excellent crypto-racist tool, which the right quite easily get away with.

    I saw an interesting video on Fire Dog Lake recently where an interviewer asked a usually rabid shock jock if whether he’d deny help to an “illegal” he met if he personally came across one with a broken leg. Left the chap rather sheepish, which was very pleasing to watch indeed.

  3. Sadly that attitude is prevalent among an certain wing-nut minority in England too.

    One thing I don’t think the government in the US has considered is the number of foreign workers that would be a great boost to their economy that won’t come over there *because* they wouldn’t be able to afford the health care.

    I’d much rather have the NHS with it’s room for improvement than the American system. Well for one thing, if we DIDN’T have an NHS I probably wouldn’t be sitting here typing this.

  4. I’m beginning to wonder if we can’t exclude all white males from the policy, since they seem to be the majority that oppose it. Also, take away any procedures like prostate exams and Viagra (or derivatives.) If we can’t get birth control, they can’t have Viagra.

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