But as we stand on the brink of the health care bill coming to debate in the Senate, this passage from the piece leaped out at me:
"In Vermont [this year], I broke my finger and didn't have insurance," said [28 year old Janelle] Treibitz, whose father is chief executive of a Colorado company that designs visual presentations for court trials. "I got my X-ray and gave [the hospital] a fake name and walked out. Is that okay that I am doing that -- taking up resources because I am refusing to take money from my parents?"
In other words, a young woman who clearly has the ability to have private coverage -- if she chose to -- remains uninsured. Setting aside the fraud she committed (no, Janelle, it's NOT "okay" that you are "doing that"), it's worth pointing out how many other young Americans are in a comparable position.
Jeffrey Anderson has shown that although young people 18-24 are only 10% of the population, they represent 18% of the uninsured. People like Janelle are not atypical -- and they put the lie to President Obama's claim that we need "reform" (and a public option) because those who are presently uninsured cannot get insurance.
Janelle could have gotten insurance; she simply refused to. And now people like her are serving as a rationale for destroying the greatest health care system in the world.
Update: Please also note the fact that in this system -- where, we're told, people without insurance cannot get care -- this entitled young woman was able to walk into a hospital, obtain an x-ray without difficulty, and not pay a penny.