“Guess they wanted iPhones more”: Repealing the ACA

I’m on pins and needles this week, anticipating the vote coming Thursday to repeal the ACA. (Just a note that I’m not going to insult anyone’s intelligence by calling this occasion passage of a new healthcare bill; do not be fooled, it is a gutting of the ACA, specifically designed to undercut the mechanisms that make the ACA work)

No one’s more surprised than me that MTV (!) has great coverage on this issue. Maybe the old “they don’t even play music videos!” complaint actually was a sign that they’ve got more substantial things to cover.

What Republicans Don’t Understand About Health Care

“Let’s dispatch the baldest lie first. “Guess they wanted iPhones more” is just a repackaging of the old racist and classist trope that all welfare recipients buy luxury televisions. It’s the new “welfare addicts are living like kings while I work for a living.” And it’s fiction. Technology is cheap now. All of it. Our fancy glowing screens are no longer markers of prosperity or even risky spending: Smartphones are an affordable alternative to personal computers. They democratize access to the internet and therefore to jobs; you can’t play ball in the modern (read: gig) economy without one.

But the iPhone line is a sideshow when you stack it against the big issue, which is how financially fucked most people actually are. When people opt out of health insurance, it is not because they don’t want health care. It’s because they don’t have enough to get by in their daily lives. It’s because $200 tangibly represents gas money or rent or utilities. When I opted out of health care, it was because I was making minimum wage and minimum wage is not enough to live on. It’s not.”

See you Thursday.