I’ve been so wrapped up in my own cancer treatment that I haven’t been closely following some of my favorite bloggers, and so I missed that Jim Henley has cancer. Jim Henley was one of my two favorite libertarian bloggers (the other being Julian Sanchez) back when he was libertarian, and is still one of my favorite bloggers now that he’s a no longer libertarian. He writes about his cancer
Regardless, this election has become a matter of life or death for me personally. I admit to being chagrined about this….
But then there’s healthcare reform. Specifically, the PPACA’s community-rating and mandate provisions that will take effect by 2014.
As I keep stressing, I’ve got a pretty bright prognosis for a cancer patient. But that bright prognosis means exiting 2012 with the mother of all preconditions. I’m fortunate to have a good group-health plan through work. (Also, my bosses have been incredibly supportive.) But jobs and companies disappear, and Mrs. Offering is currently in the ranks of the long-term unemployed. There’s COBRA for up to 18 months, if the cash for payments holds out. (Cancer means bills: the Anti-Cash!) I’m reasonably employable, if for no other reason than that Qlikview designers and developers are a semi-hot commodity right now. But I’m also a high-income worker in my 50s, so another job with health insurance within an appealing salary band in any particular time frame isn’t anything I can count on going forward.
Under PPACA that doesn’t matter as much. But if PPACA gets repealed, as Republicans have promised, I’m screwed.
I know the feeling, because I’m in a similar position. It’s an uncomfortable thought, partly because the election doesn’t just boil down to “which candidate would give Lynn a longer life expectancy” (all the more so because I personally have a good income, a good steady job, insurance, and a good prognosis, so I personally would probably still live in the world where PPACA gets repealed), and I do know many people, some of them family, who care about me very much and want me to live, and who have varied opinions both about the election and about health care reform. Even people with preexisting conditions differ in their views. My net friend Bint firmly believes that Obamacase is a life saver for her and her daughter, while my net friend Kristin is convinced that it does nothing for her without a public option and a plan that kicks into effect sooner than 2014; both of them are, going by their posts and Tweets, less well supplied with income and insurance than I am. (As Kristin would put it, I have class privilege relative to her.)
As it stands, I don’t have to think too hard about this, because the Republicans didn’t nominate Gary Johnson, and so, rather than having a trade off between a Democratic candidate that I strongly prefer on some issues, and a Republican candidate that I strongly prefer on others, I have a choice between two candidates who are the same on some issues and differ on others, but one where I’m with Obama rather than Romney on pretty much all the issues where they differ. And so I get the luxury of turning my attention to local races, where I’m still uncertain. There are ongoing divisions in the South Orange County Community College District and in the Lake Forest City Council, and I can spend time figuring out which of the various local candidates is on which side of these divisions and what I think about them. Then I can carefully analyze the usual raft of California budget related ballot propositions (I may put up a blog post later sorting them out – and will welcome input from co-bloggers if and when I do).
Still, that fact is there. Health care policy has some very personal consequences. Maybe different ones for you than for me. And I felt more comfortable arguing the matter when it was an abstract discussion about people other than me than now, when I’m the one with a preexisting condition. It’s bound to have some influence on my vote. Should I really, comfortably positioned as I am now both in finances and in prognosis, expect it to influence yours as well?