Man Blames Obama for SC Republican Policy

Luis LangYesterday, I wrote, Postmodern Politics and the End of Truth. In it, I bemoaned the fact that politicians aren’t held accountable — largely because the media has a postmodern attitude toward the truth — and that this is a great help to the Republican Party. On Tuesday, Josh Marshall provided an excellent example of how this works on the personal level, Just Shake Your Head.

It tells the truly heartbreaking story of an ignorant Republican. Luis Lang is a “self-employed handyman” in South Carolina. He never had insurance — preferring to pay out of pocket. As everyone knows, that’s a dangerous decision. That is especially the case because Lang has diabetes. In February, he had a series of mini-stokes. As a result, he’s going blind, which greatly limits the amount he can work. If he’s going to save his sight and his livelihood, he needs expensive surgery — which he can’t afford.

So in desperation, he turned to Obamacare. But there was a problem. He’s in the healthcare no man’s land: in that great Republican state government created hole where he makes too much for Medicaid and too little for the exchange subsidies. If South Carolina had accepted the Medicaid expansion, Lang would be covered. Instead, he’s going blind.

And who is to blame for all this? “He and his wife blame President Obama and Congressional Democrats for passing a complex and flawed bill.” But it wasn’t the Democrats who left it up to the states as to whether they took the free money to cover people like Lang; it was the conservatives (Republicans) on the Supreme Court. It wasn’t the Democrats who decided not to expand Medicaid in South Carolina; it was the South Carolina legislature that has a Republican super-majority in both houses.

Marshall sums up the situation:

Lang broke the law by refusing to get health insurance coverage because he prided himself on being able to pay his bills out of pocket. But he got sick and actually had too little savings to cover even relatively small health care bills. By now open enrollment has closed. But he figured he’d be able to buy in if he got in a jam or waited till he got sick to buy coverage. Luckily the ACA’s Medicaid expansion covers him regardless. But the state of South Carolina refused to accept Medicaid expansion even though the federal government would pay for it. Lang is left in precisely the situation that would exist if the ACA had never been passed. So he blames Obama.

It isn’t my intention to put down Mr Lang. We all do reckless things. I truly hope that he manages to get to the care that he deserves. But he is an archetype of the Republican voter who can’t see that it is his own party that is responsible for his hardships. I agree with him: Obamacare is “complex and flawed.” But that’s because Republicans like the pre-ill Lang were absolutely against the simpler and more effective single payer system — the one that would have covered Lang all along so that he wouldn’t have had to spend all his savings just to get to this point.

I suspect that Luis Lang will die cursing Obama and the Democrats for his fate. And until then, he will continue to vote for Republicans who have done and will continue to do everything they can to kill him.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

3 thoughts on “Man Blames Obama for SC Republican Policy

  1. I have read that his habbit of paying out of pocket as needed was a matter of personal pride for him. This is perverse in a couple of ways. First, I assume he paid up the full chargemaster rate and not a negotiated discount rate that an insurance carrier would pay. Having worked in healthcare administration I know about how this all works, but most outside the industry would not. And there is no guarantee that an individual consumer can get a discount. Smart businessman you are, Luis. Second, why does he have this belief in the moral superiority of overpaying? Put a microphone in Mitt Romney’s face and he will be glad to explain how he has no moral imperative to pay a penny more in taxes than the law and the best accountants he can hire say. He genuinely would not understand any pushback on the issue. The phrase “master morality and slave morality” is popping up, though I don’t remember where I read it. Poor Luis has completely internalized the respectability politics code. I hope somebody helps him, but I doubt it will happen. And even that wouldn’t help thos like him who didn’t make the news.

    • I know what you mean — I managed a dental office for a couple of years. There it isn’t a question of what insurance companies pay. But the margins are enormous and cash is king. But it is really strange that this guy seemed to think that it was more noble to pay as you go. Of course, that may only have been a justification for not wanting to pay the upfront costs. It doesn’t make much sense though. He’s not that young and he has diabetes.

      I’m working on an article, because it seems that his gofundme campaign has been a success largely because of liberals.

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