That was awesome! Last week, my dear friend Brittany decided I should attend a Huntsman event with her in Portsmouth. Living in New Hampshire — the part populated by both moose and people (as opposed to just moose) — I often have the opportunity to attend deranged political events. Deranged in that the bulk of political events happening in the state right now are Republican ones.
Anyways, Brittany is always trying to drag me to whatever nutjob is peddling his or her political wares in our state. These events seem to happen right around 5 p.m. and I’ve usually procrastinated enough during the day that I’m not finished work by then. I predictably flake (sorry, B!) and, thus, have not yet attended any of these circuses.
Except for last week, when I actually wound up going to Portsmouth to join Brittany at a Huntsman meet-and-greet. I assumed it would be a big public event and didn’t worry about the fact that I was wearing a puffy vest and Birkenstocks with wool socks (New Hampshire-y!). Of course, this meant that 1. it was a small, highly intimate event, and 2. Brittany and I ended up standing thisclose to him while he was engaged in his blathering.
He took questions after his stump and a young woman standing behind me told Jonny that though she works two jobs, she does not have health care. If it weren’t for so-called Obamacare and her ability to remain covered under her parents’ health insurance plan, she would be without care. Huntsman, obviously, wants to repeal Obamacare and instead encourage states to offer low-cost catastrophic coverage plans, which are nearly or completely useless for those people with any kind of long-term/on-going mental or physical illness. Huntsman condescendingly told this woman she shouldn’t be worried about Obamacare, because it doesn’t go into effect until 2014. Wrong! Well, kind of right, but wrong in this instance! The ability to stay on a parent’s insurance plan until age 26 has already gone into effect. I should know! This girl needs her crazy pills, and thankfully they are covered under my parents’ plan.
I had no intention of actually asking a question, but this was #toomuch. I piped up and told Mr. Huntsman he was, in fact, wrong and that Obamacare was very much affecting me — not in 2014 — but right now. If not for the Affordable Care Act, I would not have been able to seek treatment for my panic disorder and would be leading a much more unpleasant life right now. And for those people with serious long-term medical issues like asthma (after I rhetorically smacked JH, another young man mentioned he also depends on his parents’ health insurance to cover asthma treatment), a lack of insurance means choosing between seeking care and staying healthy or keeping a roof over their heads.
I told Huntsman personally that his health care plan does nothing to help me, or the other two people (plus B!) in that room who depend on the Affordable Care Act. His response? “I’m not trying to help you. I’m trying to help America.” Well, Jon, I guess I’m not American enough to be included in your America. Because by your standards, I should just “work harder” and pay for my own treatment. We’re not all lucky enough to be wealthy, white, heterosexual, cis-gendered, gainfully employed, privately insured men. At least now I understand who the “Americans” are you’re trying to help.