Treatment For A Gaping Asshole

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Memo to Luis Lang: YOU ARE DUMB AND SO WE SHOULD HELP YOU.

Around the middle of May, the story of South Carolina dipshit Luis Lang made the rounds. His story provides an important lesson, but that lesson, generally speaking, is not what most people thought it was.

Luis Lang is going blind from untreated diabetes and needs an operation to save his sight. Luis Lang is a lifelong diehard conservative. Luis Lang does not have health insurance. He deliberately did not buy health insurance, even though the Affordable Care Act required him to. He paid his own medical bills until his own personal neglect for his own condition caused medical bills he couldn't afford and medical conditions that kept him from working.

And now that he needs it, he doesn't qualify for Obamacare because he doesn't make any money. He'd qualify for Medicaid, but he's a South Carolina resident, and South Carolina is a Republican state that rejected Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. So he had to resort to an online funding campaign. Approximately one month after the fundraiser started, and several weeks after his story made the rounds, his private fundraiser is still a few thousand dollars short of the $30,000 he needs.

Many people have said "fuck that guy", and in many ways, they are right to do so. Every argument about moral hazard, willful ignorance, and ironically metaphorical political blind spots applies to Luis Lang like he was a lab-grown test case for liberal "I Told You So". And in a vacuum, I'd be right along with you. Let this assholde discover the value of affordable health care while he struggles to learn Braille around the time he turns 50.

But here's the thing. Even though Luis Lang does not, by any measure, "deserve" an operation to save his sight, it's still better for society that he gets one. If he goes blind, his life will be more difficult, and since we do not push people off cliffs once they can't support themselves, despite the best efforts fo Republican state legislatures across America, he'll end up costing society far more than his surgery would cost in the long run.

In other words, this shitheel irresponsible wingnut, this hypocrite who preached that personal responsibility made him better than you until he needed help, is the most compelling argument for single payer health care in existence.

Despite the fearmongering around the name, the whole point of "socialized medicine" is that it does not care whether or not you are deserving. It doesn't care whether you made the right choices, or were tricked by decades of conservative propaganda into making the wrong ones. It does not care if you're smart or dumb, or whether your misfortune was self-inflicted or completely out of your control.

All socialized medicine cares about is that one, you're part of society, and two, society is better off if we help you than if we don't. Even if you're a gaping, unsympathetic asshole like Luis Lang.