Recently at Reason.tv: No American Should Have to Choose Between Health Insurance and Getting Drunk

President Obama's prime-time health insurance speech underscored an important point: No American should have to choose between health insurance and paying rent, between health insurance and getting groceries—or getting drunk, getting designer jeans, or bodybuilding supplements.

We hear so much about hardworking Americans who need health insurance, but what about the rest of us? Millions of uninsured Americans could afford health insurance, but it would mean giving up some really cool stuff. Support President Obama's plan to cover all Americans, because no American should have to choose between health insurance and protein powder.

Approximately 1.10 minutes. Written and produced by Ted Balaker. Director of Photography is Alex Manning.

More Reason.tv on health care, including a radical plan that will halve the number of uninsured virtually overnight.

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  • ||

    Glen Beck would find this high-larious.

  • Spoonman||

    Uh, did you just produce a video with a guy saying "I'm a black man, so I have to dress well"? That's kind of a problem...

  • ||

    Really, Reason? REALLY? Is this the best you could come up with?

    Honestly?

    More Reason.tv on health care, including a radical plan that will halve the number of uninsured virtually overnight.

    After viewing this atrociously absurd video, I'm afraid to look.

  • jtuf||

    I don't have health insurance, because paying out of pocket is a better deal for someone my age.

  • ||

    Let me see now . . . .I work two part-time jobs, neither of which supplies me with health insurance. Nevertheless, I spend $555/month of my own money to purchase health insurance. The rates went up $35/month this fall. If they go up that much again next fall, I will be unable to afford health insurance without getting another job. Somehow, I don't think I'll be buying any designer jeans anytime soon. Do you think you could get any more offensive to people like me? I doubt it.

  • ||

    I don't have health insurance, because paying out of pocket is a better deal for someone my age.



    It may be a pretty good bet that you won't be diagnosed with cancer or heart disease but you do realize that a serious injury like a broken leg (even a simple fracture) could set you back at least twenty thousand or so. Do you have that kind of scratch lying around?

    I find that one of the problems I have with current regulations in most states is that the kinds of policies that young people need - coverage for accidents and catastrophic illness with a moderate to high deductible and no coverage for checkups or other routine visits should be relatively cheap for the young - are not allowed.

    While I'm at it, why is pregnancy even covered on insurance? It's not like it's something you can't plan and budget for. And if worst came worst one could always put it on the visa card...Oh, right it's over the limit because of the plasma TV, designer furniture and clothes already on it.

  • s.m. koppelman||

    Gee, yeah. With my good job with one of America's Best Companies to Work For, that $300/month would cover the deductible and about a third of my annual prescription copays.

    I'd still have to come up with another $450 a month for the premiums for my huge family of... two... and another couple grand for the rest of those copays, and maybe another couple grand after that for the dental and vision coverage that only covers exams, cleanings, and a pair of aviator glasses with coke-bottle lenses. I'll have to save up for lenses that won't shatter and blind me in a mishap, but that's reckless luxury spending for you.

    I want the plan you folks at Reason have!

    Boo.

    I wonder if the same person who did the uncredited voiceover put up this blog post sans byline.

  • s.m. koppelman||

    This is the kind of thing that cured me of libertarianism almost 20 years ago. Loathsome, misanthropic and either dishonest or innumerate. Awesome.

  • ||

    A minute of pure distilled stupid.

  • litbrit||

    This is a joke, right?

    Only no-one is laughing. Certainly my husband and I aren't, since we're self-employed and pay nearly $3,000 a month to our health-care insurer, one that routinely writes me letters advising me that if I would "tell (my) doctor" to prescribe this, this and this instead of that, that, and that medicines, they would only charge me a $40 co-pay instead of the $75-dollar one, per child, per month, that I pay now. On top of the premiums, on top of the deductibles. Thing is, the meds they're recommending are not generic versions of the same meds, but rather, are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MEDS ALTOGETHER (in the same general class, but a different chemical with completely different effects).

    Oh, and try getting them to pay for just about anything above and beyond a single yearly office visit that children actually need--speech therapy, OT, cognitive therapy, anything. They'd rather you just take pills, preferably the made-in-China generic ones, and leave them alone--just keep sending the piles of money, though: those CEOs' mansions won't renovate themselves!

    And this is a PPO, the most inclusive, top-drawer policy they offer.

    Designer jeans? Endless drinking binges? Jesus--we scrimp and save to be able to afford health insurance. And we consider ourselves luckier than many of our kids' classmates' families, who are losing their jobs, their (meager) coverage, and even their houses this year.

    This video is a joke, alright: a cruel joke. Whoever wrote it and filmed it should be ashamed of himself. It's absolutely disgusting.

  • ||

    It is interesting that you chose "getting drunk" as the alternative to buying health care, because forcing health insurance on employers or individuals would shut down 80% of bars in existence.

  • ||

    Pathetic. What a travesty. This is the best you can do?

    Reminds me of the bifurcated press reaction to survivors of Katrina: white folks were "foraging" and black folks were "looting." The sympathetic, deserving, victimized white folks were looking for food, and the savage black folks were just out there looking for wide-screen TVs.

    What a sick joke told by morons who lack the capacity to be ashamed of themselves.

    I am self-employed. The status quo offers me nothing: I demand a public option. If I fall off a ladder at work and break a leg, I'm screwed twice: once for being unable to work for a while, and twice for having to pay expenses out-of-pocket.

    Clearly, I need another self-righteous lecture about the evils of socialism.

  • s.m. koppelman||

    Wild distortions about the cost of private health care, a dash of is-it-could-it-be race-baiting (malt liquor! nice touch).

    From the looks of it, you'd think Reason was just another corporate astroturf outlet largely funded by the Scaife and Koch families.

    Oh, wait.

  • Abner MacGillicuddy||

    The video showed young single people all of whom admitted to having quite high discretionary incomes. So far the dissenting comments have been from middleaged married people, some even with children, whose discretionary incomes are squeezed by the cost of health insurance. One even had a complaint about something that should be a Workers' Comp issue. Another deals a race card off the bottom of the deck.

    Jeeesssus. Talk about apples and racehorses.

    If someone has a relevant complaint about the video, let's hear it. If you have off topic digressions, fine, but at least concede that's what they are.

  • Sara||

    I would pay for health insurance but going to planned parenthood for a pap and urgent care for strep throat has cost me about $300 total this year. Costco and Target and Walmart have drugs that are cheaper than most copays. If there was a way to insure against really bad unexpected stuff only, I'd take it.

    And I would pay for insurance but then I would have to stop doing the laser hair removal. And I'd have to drink less wine.

  • ||

    Hi. Popped over Balloon Juice.

    Wow.

    Thank you for the wonderful gift. I suspect this one will keep on giving.

    Idiots.

  • litbrit||

    The video showed young single people all of whom admitted to having quite high discretionary incomes. So far the dissenting comments have been from middleaged married people, some even with children

    Well, I was a young, single person in the not-exactly-distant past, and neither I nor the other college-educated writers and artists at the ad agency where we workd could afford expensive designer clothes, regular drinking binges, or health insurance then, either. In fact, we went without all three, relying on thrift stores, vegetarian meals at home, and careful brushing and flossing (and lots of finger-crossing).

    I'm guessing insurance hasn't become any cheaper in the past ten-fifteen years? And I'm quite certain that wages have been dead stagnant, too. In short, then, these carefree, flush-with-cash-but-nonetheless-uninsured young single people in the video do not, in fact, exist, certainly not in any kind of number statistically significant enough to justify denying everyone the option of government-sponsored health insurance.

    As with other oft-cited ne'er-do-wells and social parasites who always seem to magiacally materialize whenever it looks like meaningful social policy might actually have a chance of getting instituted, these irresponsible (irrational) actors--and I do mean actors--are nothing more than figments of a conservative/libertarian imagination, fleshed out by the helpful wordsmiths who toil in assorted PR departments across the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Figments that are made two-dimensional and uploaded to YouTube by sites like this one.

    My best friend--no health insurance--contracted pancreatic cancer in her thirties and after being told she had a couple of months to live, tops, went home and passed away within the month. The hospital sent her bereaved mother a bill for over $80,000, since she'd taken up one of their beds for the better part of a week and received exactly one ineffective surgery.

    It's incomprehensible that Americans continue to accept this kind of thing and do not feel that they're worthy of the same care that EVERY OTHER CIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD gives its citizens.

    And it's unforgivable that a site calling itself Reason--and purportedly aiming to promote intelligent discourse--would lower itself to slinging around the same Big-Insurance-generated talking points and racist tropes as the charming town hall "participants" do.

  • Abner MacGillicuddy||

    Irrelevant.

    Nobody said there weren't people who couldn't afford insurance.

    The subject of this post is that a significant portion of the "uninsured" in this country are perfectly capable of paying for insurance but choose to do other things with that money.

    If you have something other than your personal anecdotes to counter the outright statements of people who admitted they can afford insurance but choose not to buy it and further the income figures that show that these people ar quite representative of a sizable cohorty of the uninsured, then present it.

    Otherwise, prepare to be ignored as irrelevant. And especially don't pull any more of that "you're all racists" bullshit. That's really just childish.

  • ||

    I guess you couldn't find a way to work in references to fried chicken and watermelon.

  • ||

    "If you have something other than your personal anecdotes to counter the outright statements of people who admitted they can afford insurance but choose not to buy it and further the income figures that show that these people ar quite representative of a sizable cohorty of the uninsured, then present it."

    So you're saying the anecdotes from the anonymous people in the video are hard proof of a larger trend, but the anecdotes offered from anonymous people on this comment thread are meaningless?

    Boy, I'd hate to be ignored as irrelevant by someone with your deep grasp of logic and argumentation.

  • Xanthippas||

    Why yes, if I quit drinking malt liquor, I could save up enough for the heart transplant I need for my inherited condition! In...350 years, that is.

    Great argument though guys, if you're a moron.

    The subject of this post is that a significant portion of the "uninsured" in this country are perfectly capable of paying for insurance but choose to do other things with that money.

    You got any numbers to back that up? Or just baseless speculation made out of irritation with those supposed irresponsible losers who won't buy their own healthcare?

  • Abner MacGillicuddy||

    What, did this site get linked to a site for remedial reading students or something.

    The anecdotes in the video were presented as being represented by the larger population group with similar incomes and lifestyles. Said group being a large part of the "uninsured".

    By extrapolation one can assume a large part of the uninsured can in fact afford insurance.

    This is not to say that there are not people who cannot afford insurance. But this post was not about those people, so bringing them up is irrelevant.

    And a story about an unfortunate who suffer the exact same outcome from pancreatic cancer as might have been expected in any system in the world regardles of how it is financed is not a magic totem. It's just a very sad story.

    So far nobody has countered the premise of the video. They have just made emotional appeals.

    The figures have been provided, Xanthippas. Review the video. If you disagree, that's fine.

    Good night.

  • litbrit||

    The anecdotes in the video were presented as being represented by the larger population group with similar incomes and lifestyles. Said group being a large part of the "uninsured".

    Which is just bloggy gobbledegook for "WE say these people represent actual, honest-to-goodness people, the lifestyles/incomes/etc. of whom we're not really privy to but will happily guess at based on, you know, our prodigious levels of movie and teevee watching and our resultant awareness of the ins and outs of hip-hop or Teh Urban Folk or something; and furthermore, since WE say it is thus, it's the same thing as hard fact, so there.

    There's your premise-counter, sir.

    And a story about an unfortunate who suffer the exact same outcome from pancreatic cancer as might have been expected in any system in the world regardles of how it is financed is not a magic totem. It's just a very sad story.


    Jesus, miss the point much? Nowhere in the civilized world would a hospital have sent my friend's mother a bill for $80,000 within days of her death. Nowhere. Only in America!

    In fact, if you, an American, have the bad luck to fall seriously ill in another country, say, Norway, as another friend of mine did--pneumonia--not only would you be admitted and cared for with the same urgency and professionalism as would be shown a citizen of that country, it's entirely possible--as happened with him--that you would not be handed a bill for anything in excess of the cost of your meals and phone calls, either. Imagine that.

    As before, you should be ashamed of yourself--for the rubber-glue name-calling (Childish? Reading comprehension problems? Projection time?), for the brushing off of legitimate concerns about the video's racism that numerous people have expressed, and, most saliently, for your knee-jerk support of an inhumane, immoral, and unrelentingly über-corporatist system that's evidently--thank God--moving into its violent death-throe phase.

  • ||

    Shorter Abner MacGillicuddy: There are people who can afford health care and choose not to. There are irresponsible people in the US. So we should not support a plan that will offer an option to the people who really do have to choose between health care and eating because guys like the idiot at the end of the video might get a chance to buy an affordable plan if they took their head out of their ass.

  • ||

    Wow -- I never thought I'd see a libertarian publication come out and make such an eloquent argument for mandates. Reason must have really taken that part of the President's speech to heart.

  • ||

    Valid complaints? Let's see, we have an anecdote about a drunk long-haired anti-establishment type, we have the blatantly subtle anecdote about black people and expensive clothing and yet another long-haired anti-establishment type person who spends money on weight lifting supplements. We're supppose to extrapolate this into tens of millions of uninsured folks who won't buy insurance because they want some bling?

    I smell desperation. Status quo at any cost should be the mantra of this poor excuse of a web site. Here's a valid complaint for you, why would you develop and produce a video that insults the intelligence of everyone who watches it?

  • ||

    Obviously these young wastrels aren't getting the phone messages that I'm receiving, that promise me "health insurance for as little as $3. a day" and possibly "dental coverage included" if I'm "among the first 50 people to respond". It must be time to let the "valued marketers" who can only trouble those of us with landlines to reach more deeply into the pool of cell-phone users, and talk some Sense into these hip-hoppers. ^..^

  • ||

    Serious Ass

    One minute of pure undiluted idiocy

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